Today, 10th June 2020, had been declared as the last day that employees can be put on furlough leave for the first time. But...
The Treasury has announced a limited exception to cover parents returning to work after statutory leave, who can still be put on furlough leave if the following requirements are met:
- The types of statutory leave that will qualify employees for furlough are: maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave and parental bereavement leave.
- Furlough can be agreed with employees on those types of leave ‘who return to work in the coming months’ (presumably up to October 2020), provided that ‘they work for an employer who has previously furloughed employees’ (So any employees, not just the returning parent would count, and presumably having furloughed one employee would suffice).
- The announcement says that this applies to employees returning to work after ‘a long period of absence’ without saying what that period is, but it seems unlikely that this is anything more than sloppy wording, with statutory leave running in weeks, one week of leave should be sufficient or else the rules would be nonsensical and open to challenge.
More details on how furlough leave and pay will operate from July 2020 are coming out on Friday 12th June 2020.