“Furlough” is an American term and has no prior meaning in UK employment law. In the US, it means to allow or force someone to be absent temporarily from work. It’s defined online as either the granting of a period of leave or the leave itself. “Furlough” is a word not previously seen in English employment legislation and is now probably the most Googled word in the UK!
In the scenario we find ourselves in with Covid-19 (Coronavirus), the Government has introduced Furlough. Furlough allows organisations to essentially lay people off for a prolonged period of time with reduced pay as an alternative to redundancy. This is the Government’s way of attempting to avoid mass redundancies.
From July 2021, government contributions will fall to 70% while in August and September the government will only pay 60% towards wages – with employers asked to make the difference up to 80%. Currently, the scheme is set to close at the end of September 2021.
Please seek legal/further advice for full information.