The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is set to end on 30th June and there is no news yet as to whether the scheme will be extended by the government. Employers therefore need to start considering their exit strategy from furlough and how their teams will return to workplace. It is likely that returning employees to the workplace will present more issues than there were in furloughing them in the first place. We look at some key considerations for business owners:
What areas should our business be reviewing now?
Are changes to workplace practices necessary?
It is highly likely that most workplaces and workplace practices will need to change fundamentally when lockdown ends. Employers have a duty of care to protect the health and safety of their employees and will need to consider any government and ACAS advice about health and safety precautions. Including:
What about employees that are unable or unwilling to return to work?
You will need to consider how you will deal with employees who:
How can I reduce payroll costs without making redundancies?
Does your business need to consider making redundancies?
If the furlough scheme is not extended it is likely that some employers will see no option other than making redundancies. Likewise, some employers will need to reshape their businesses which will result in headcount reductions, particularly if they don’t need all employee back after lockdown.
This will trigger individual and possibly collective consultation obligations. If the employer needs to make 20 or more redundancies in a 90-day period they will need to factor in the minimum periods of collective consultation.
Look out for our next blog on redundancies and restructuring for more info on the process or sign up for the Highfield HR newsletter.
One things for sure, the sooner you start working on your business strategy to exit the lockdown, the better position you will be in to deal with the challenges. If you would like help with your lockdown exit strategy including changes to terms and conditions or redundancy consultations contact Highfield HR on 01656 336097.