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Furlough extended for parents returning to work after maternity/paternity leave

Today (10 June 2020), marks the final day in which an employer can place those employees who haven’t yet been furloughed, on furlough leave. New flexibilities are being introduced to the scheme on 1 July 2020, in an attempt to continue supporting businesses throughout the pandemic.

Whilst today is the cut-off date for most employees, the Government announced yesterday that parents on statutory maternity and paternity leave who return to work between now and October, will still be eligible for the furlough scheme. This also applies to people returning to work from a long period of absence from adoption leave, shared parental leave and parental bereavement leave. However, this extension will only apply where the employer has previously furloughed other employees at the business.

Yesterday’s announcement is a further attempt made by the Government to be supportive and inclusive of employees, however we have seen a rise in the number of maternity claims as a result of employers not placing pregnant women on furlough and expect this to continue, so watch this space.

As further guidance on flexible furloughing is due to be published by the Government on 12 June 2020 we are expecting a lot of queries in the application of the new guidance and ensuring that businesses do not leave themselves open to claims.

If you have any questions about furloughing staff or bringing employees back to work after an extended period of absence, please contact Heyma Holmes or another member of our Employment Team.

 

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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