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Coronavirus: Family leave and furlough

View profile for Julie Temple
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Coronavirus: Family leave and furlough

Since the announcement that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June, and the last day to place ‘new’ employees on furlough is 10 June 2020, confusion has come to the fore about those on family leave. 

We are of the view that HMRC guidance and the Treasury Direction conflict. The guidance says employees on family leave can be furloughed, and on statutory family leave and furlough at the same time, with claims made for any enhanced contractual family leave pay. However, the Treasury Direction appears to rule out a return from maternity leave until it was due to end. 

On 9 June 2020, it was announced that employees returning from leave (maternity leave and paternity leave) after 10 June 2020 can still be furloughed as long as their employer has previously accessed the scheme for other employees. You can view the announcement on the government’s website.  

Individuals on Maternity Allowance (MA) cannot get furlough pay at the same time. Receipt of MA can be ended early by the employee giving 8 weeks’ notice (but no less). An employee must contact the Jobcentre to stop payments. 

This is welcome relief, for individuals and employers alike. Further guidance on how the scheme will operate from 1 July 2020 is anticipated by 12 June 2020.

If you have any questions about employees you have furloughed, please give me a call on 01206 217318 or email julie.temple@birkettlong.co.uk.

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