With one month left of furlough and another lockdown looming – What employers and employees need to know

With one month left of furlough and another lockdown looming – What employers and employees need to know

Rooney Nimmo has been advising employers and workers on employment strategies and policies for many years. However, the game has changed substantially in 2020, with a range of new government guidelines, rules, and regulations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic pressures faced by companies all over Britain. With just less than a month left of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and an uncertain future regarding social restrictions many employers (and their employees) are wondering what to expect.

For employers herein are a few thoughts to consider:

  1. Clear and regular communication with staff is key.
  2. It is advisable to review furlough agreements with staff to ensure any decisions you make with regard to future employment are consistent.
  3. If employees have been on furlough for months and accumulating holidays, under the working time regulations employees can be given notice to take statutory holiday leave. We can help you do this correctly to avoid a backlash.
  4. You may have to top up to full pay any holidays taken (assistance for this can fall under the remainder of the Job Retention Scheme). The required notice periods are double the length of the holiday in certain circumstances.
  5. Whilst there is only a short time remaining on the Job Retention Scheme, the economic savings may not be substantial, however, if there are a number of affected employees then this would multiply accordingly.

Employees should consider the following:

  1. Check your furlough agreement to ensure it is being adhered to.
  2. Your employer can compel you to take holidays whilst on furlough.
  3. Have you received sufficient notice?
  4. Are there any existing conditions/circumstances which would preclude the ability to take a holiday (in principle)?
  5. If your employer is seeking to amend holidays do they have your agreement to do so before it is put into effect?

We have been advising a number of companies and employees on the above matters and many other related issues, such as:

  • Return to work
  • Working from home (procedures, policies, and workforce management)
  • Temporary (or permanent) changes to existing employment contracts

If you need advice, please get in touch with Rooney Nimmo partner, Dawn Robertson on 0131 220 9579 or dawn.robertson@rooneynimmo.co.uk.



This article is one of a series intended to de-mystify common legal issues for the non-lawyer and entrepreneur audience – they are designed to foster discussion and is by no means exhaustive. These materials are for informational purposes only. Nothing herein is intended nor should be regarded as legal advice. The distribution of this article to any person does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Rooney Nimmo assumes no liability in connection with the use of this publication. This bulletin is considered attorney advertising under the applicable rules of New York state. Rooney Nimmo UK is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland and Rooney Nimmo US by the New York rules of professional conduct. All attorneys and solicitors listed in this firm stipulate their jurisdictional limitations. Rooney Nimmo in the USA is a law firm registered as a New York State professional corporation.


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