Employment Law Update November 2020

18th November 2020

Unsurprisingly, Employment Law news this month is dominated by the extension of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 2021. Until January 2021 employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The cap is proportionate to the hours not worked.

Points of note:

  • Employers do not need to have used the scheme previously and employees can be furloughed who had not been furloughed before. Employees must have been employed and on payroll on 30 October 2020.
  • Employees on payroll on 23 September 2020 but were made redundant afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for.
  • Furlough can be full or flexible. The employee can work for any amount of time and the employer can claim the grant for their furloughed hours.
  • As previously, there must be a written furlough agreement between employer and employee, which must be kept for 5 years.

The Government will review the scheme in January. It is likely that in the later months employers will be required to contribute, as with the previous iteration of the scheme.

Other news:

A study recently published in the Journal Work, Employment and Society has found that 30% of fathers (in contrast with only 10% of mothers) do not know that they have the right to ask their employer to consider changes to how they work.

Since 2003 all employees (not just parents) who have been in the job for at least 6 months have the legal right to request flexible working arrangements. Employers must deal with requests reasonably, which should include properly considering the request, meeting with the employee and an appeals process.

Perhaps even more worryingly, the study found that only a quarter of managers know that employees can request changes to how they work.