Employers in the UK will not be able to lay off furloughed staff using the financial pressures of the pandemic as an excuse. If they do so, they will have to pay back the money they have received from the Government as furlough support.
Apparently, the very purpose of the coronavirus job retention scheme has been reworded to clarify that the money that is granted by the Government has to be mandatorily used by the companies to retain the employees.
With this clarification, employers will not be able to indulge in fraud or lay off their employees who are right now on furlough.
When companies in the UK send their employees on furlough, they are able to claim 80 per cent of their wages from the Government. However, now the Government has made it mandatory for them to use that money to ensure that the employees remain employed with the companies who have received this financial assistance.
The rewording of the initiative followed the mass layoffs of the furloughed employees of British Airways.
With the recent clarifications issued, companies will not be able to cut jobs using the pandemic as an excuse or in any way make the terms and conditions of employment of their existing staff weak.
However, this also means that it may not be possible for employers to use furlough funds to pay notice periods. If they have already done so, chances are that they may have to return that money to the tax payers.