Welcome to the April edition of our Employment Law Bulletin.
April has been an extraordinary month for us all, employers, employees and employment lawyers alike. The Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has brought in state support for employment costs on a scale which has never been seen before. As we have limped slowly through a month of lockdown, HMRC has published a number of versions of its guidance and the legislative scheme which underpins it.
We bring together in this edition of our Employment Law Bulletin articles covering a number of tricky employment issues raised by the current crisis, the Job Retention Scheme and furlough leave.
In our first article, we answer frequently asked questions raised by our clients including: "Will we have a redundancy situation if we can now furlough workers?" and "Can employees volunteer while on the Job Retention Scheme and can they volunteer for their own employer?"
We take a look at the various updates to the guidance, including detail of whose employment costs can be claimed for under the scheme, whether employees can be rehired then put on furlough, the interaction between sick leave and furlough, whether employees can be furloughed after a TUPE transfer, the change to the payroll cut-off date for eligibility, and the calculation of pay for those returning from maternity or other statutory leave. We also focus on what had been a key area of uncertainty for employers: the interaction between holiday and furlough leave.
Our last two articles focus on questions specific to particular sectors. Here we consider the impact of salary sacrifice schemes on furlough claims, of particular relevance to independent schools, and the impact of the virus on employers working in a rural context.
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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.