COVID 19

The First furlough tribunal

The first furlough tribunal (the Job Retention Scheme) has been heard and it has an interesting outcome to it. The case of Mhindurwa v Lovingangels Care assesses the placement of an employee on furlough against the need to make an employee redundant.

The outcome of the case is that an employer has the requirement to consider placing an employee on furlough
before making their job role redundant and because there was a lack of active consideration to furloughing the employee, it made the dismissal unfair.

There are many considerations to this, and in some cases, furlough is just not a viable option, however, in this case, the employee asked to be furloughed in May 2020 (when she could have been furloughed), however, the employer declined because there was no work for her. She was subsequently made redundant in July 2020 (where she could no longer be placed on furlough for the first time).

With furlough due to end on 30 September 2021, it has been a very interesting and somewhat difficult time for employers and employees making difficult decisions whether to furlough employees, keep them working their contractual hours, reduce their working hours, make them redundant or place them on the latest edition of the furlough scheme,‘flexi-furlough.

This is the first case and first decision relating to a tribunal claim on furlough, so there may be further cases over the coming weeks, months and possibly years, which may question decisions made by employers at a time when the whole country was in a lockdown period.

The Furlough scheme has changed again for August 2021 before finally coming to an end on 30 September 2021. The changes are below:
Employers will contribute towards the Furlough scheme (Job Retention Scheme) 20% (up to £625) of the 80% employees receive with the government contributing the remaining 60% of the 80% received.

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