Job Retention / Furlough Scheme: Part 1

In this episode of the podcast I cover the key points about the job retention / furlough scheme that were known as of Thursday 26th March.

Further details have been released since this episode was recorded and will be followed with a Part 2 episode with more information.

In this episode I will cover:

  • What is furloughing and what does it mean.
  • What is the difference between lay-off and furloughing.
  • The purpose of the job retention scheme.
  • The impact of furloughing on your contractual obligations.
  • What an employee can do if you do not pay them the full 100% of salary.
  • Process for furloughing staff and what you need to do.
  • Employers obligation to pay employees and then recover the money from HMRC.
  • Why you need to consider cash flow for the next two months at least.
  • Options if you cannot make the payment of wages to staff.
  • Holiday and other contractual benefits during the furlough period.
  • That the job retention scheme applies to zero hours workers.
  • Ways to decide who is furloughed.
  • Ways in which you can incentivise employees to remain working during this time when colleagues are furloughed.

Action Points

  1. Check employee contracts to see what your obligations are and what changes you can make.
  2. Draw up a list of employees or roles that may need to be furloughed.
  3. Start talking to staff about your plans and the reasons for it.
  4. Communicate with staff and ensure you put the details of the furlough scheme in writing.
  5. Where possible get the employees written agreement to the change.
  6. Create a spreadsheet to record details of furloughed employees.
  7. Listen to the next episode of the podcast – part 2 for more details about the scheme.
  8. If in doubt get advice.

Support from the RELA Team

DIY Furlough Support Package available to download for £50 plus VAT will be available shortly and will include:

  1. Letter/notice to all staff asking for volunteers and notifying staff of proposal.
  2. Example Selection criteria.
  3. Letter notifying staff that they are being furloughed.
  4. Furlough agreement.
  5. FAQ’s sheet to issue to employees.

Business Support from a Solicitor: For a fixed fee of £250 plus VAT we can provide:

  1. Review of your employment contracts to check relevant applicable clauses that may assist in your decision making.
  2. Providing advice on options available at this time in respect of staff during the current situation including:
    • Furlough
    • Reducing hours
    • Redundancy
    • Lay-off
  3. Up to 1-hour of telephone calls to discuss and answer questions.
  4. Template letter depending on your choice of action.
  5. FAQ’s document for furloughed employees.
  6. Automatic updates when available of if there are changes to the scheme.

For more information or to access these offers for employers please contact us on 01983 897003 or by email: alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk


Please do leave your thoughts on this issue in the comments section below. Please ensure that any comments are respectful to all views and opinions.

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £198 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion – alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don’t forget you can contact us by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006


Would you like advice about your situation?

Appointments are available on the telephone or via Skype throughout the UK.

Alternatively we offer face to face appointments on the Isle of Wight, Salisbury, Eastleigh, Southampton, Fareham, Portsmouth, Winchester and surrounding areas in Hampshire.


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The information contained in this Podcast and post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

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