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Furloughing - start date?(8 Posts)
I was wondering if the employment experts had a view on a question I have on furlough - given that in some instances one’s salary is reduced quite significantly when on furlough, I would like to understand when exactly the furlough salary applies? At the time of the informal call received from the employer advising of the necessity to go on furlough due to cost cutting or from the time of when the employee agrees to it (i.e. signs the letter). I guess I am trying to understand to what extent they can ask in the letter for the date to be applied retrospectively even though it would go against the fact that the employee would have accumulated another week on full pay as opposed to the pay cut whilst on furlough say, for the remaining 3 weeks. I know this is a delicate issue and people would say you should be lucky that you still have a job, but I am keen to understand what the advice would be on this issue of the furloughing date. Many thanks!
Furlough starts when the employee stops work. So if they don't sign the paperwork etc until later, or were laid off unpaid and then the furlough scheme kicked in, it can be backdated to cover the entire period they were not working.
Pay whilst on furlough is 80% of whatever they were being paid at 28 February.
We've been advised to make the informal phone calls (which were done on the day they stopped work) because payroll and management are all working from home with limited access to paperwork and no way of sending out paper letters.
The alternative to agreeing would be to be made redundant or to be laid off without pay depending on how your contract is worded, we have statutory guarantee pay of £29 per day for a maximum of 5 days.
Most of our employees are welcoming furlough as they know the alternative is no job to come back to after this is all over. The direors calculated that they had enough money to pay staff for 2-3 weeks maximum and after that it would be administration.
Thanks a lot for the replies. My query was more related to the fact that I got the informal call last week (on 2 April) but I have not agreed to anything as I didn’t have sight of the furlough letter. I was told I would get the letter the next day and that in the meantime, I should not be too forthcoming if my colleagues asked for any help on their projects. The letter finally arrived only today 6 April late evening and I am being asked to agree to a furlough period backdated to 1 April, despite the fact I kept working as normal, though on a much reduced workload until the end of last week.
The letter is not in an agreeable format to me as they have also included a clause in it that rang alarm bells to me. This clause says “when your Furlough Leave ends, in the event of insufficient work being available, you agree we are entitled to place you on short time or lay you off without any pay except for statutory guarantee payments.” I currently have a contractual 3-month notice.
Go back and say that they have got the start date wrong as you were still working last week, and can they please remove the short time/lay off clause, as this is not currently part of your terms and conditions and you are not prepared to agree to that change.
Thanks flowery! I managed to get that clause removed.
Can I just ask - by agreeing to go on furlough, do you make it easier for the employer to make you redundant? I.e. not being involved at work makes you less needed on a daily basis, therefore strengthening their case that your role is no longer needed/at risk to be redundant.
I read that it is possible for the employer to serve you the redundancy notice whilst on furlough. So how can we protect ourselves against that situation? Before the crisis, I was told there will be plenty of work for me to do. However, since the crisis began, more and more of our clients have asked to put retainers on hold, so our cash flow is definitely impacted. However, on the other hand, my company entered this crisis with a healthy and strong cash position to which I have also been a direct contributor.
I don’t think it makes any difference at all. Furlough gives the company a chance to ride this extraordinary set of circumstances. Without it, you’d probably already not have a job.
Well, there is still the case for the consultation period, criteria for selection, etc. Also, it’s not like the company is going into administration any time soon. By my calculations, it can survive at least a year and a half without receiving any income at all. I am trying to understand if they have a case for redundancy or not.