On 30 April 2020, an update was made to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) which is important for any employers who may need to consider making redundancies in the current climate.
The CJRS now states: “Whilst on furlough, employees who are union or non-union representatives may undertake duties and activities for the purpose of individual or collective representation of employees or other workers. However in doing this, they must not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation or a linked or associated organisation.”
Whilst we had previously believed that individual or collective redundancy consultation with furloughed employees did not constitute “work” for the purposes of the CJRS – and therefore that employers could continue to claim under the CJRS for those employees who are engaged in redundancy consultation – it is helpful that this point has now been expressly confirmed in the updated guidance for employers.
Whilst many businesses are focussed on protecting jobs at the moment, and on making use of the CJRS where appropriate, it will be the case that some businesses may need to consider making redundancies in the short to medium term. For them, this update provides useful clarification.
If you have any queries on this, the CJRS or any other aspects of employment law please do get in touch.