Furlough ends at the end of September 2021, after several extensions to the scheme provided invaluable protection from mass unemployment due to Covid‐19. Businesses and employees now face an uncertain future, and a potential need to make redundancies.
Scotland and the UK as a whole operate a strict regime when it comes to staff redundancy, however, and this offers protection from unfair dismissal or discrimination. So what are your rights if you are made redundant after furlough ends?
If you’ve been furloughed by your employer you have the same rights as non‐furloughed staff if you’re made redundant. There are a number of considerations in relation to redundancy, including the rate of pay used to calculate redundancy and notice pay, as well as the consultation process.
You should also consider whether the selection process for being furloughed was fair originally, as this can have a knock‐on effect if your employer tries to make furloughed staff redundant.
Making redundancies is stressful for all concerned, and your employer should give due consideration to any alternatives to redundancy – perhaps a pay freeze, or no longer using agency staff until business picks up again.
If there are no other viable solutions, however, what are your rights in relation to calculating rates of redundancy and notice pay?
If you are made redundant after furlough ends, your employer must use your ‘normal’ wage as the basis for calculating both redundancy pay and statutory notice pay. This is your wage before you were placed on furlough.
In fact, the way statutory notice pay should be calculated was laid down in legislation by the government, and employers aren’t allowed to use the rate of furlough pay. Your rights to proper consultation also remain if you’ve been furloughed and are facing redundancy.
Your employer must ensure that you’re consulted about redundancy in the same way as non‐furloughed staff. You may also be supported by an employee representative during these consultations.
It’s your employer’s responsibility to decide on the best method of consultation given the circumstances. This might be via video calls, for example, rather than in‐person as would have happened pre‐pandemic.
If your employer doesn’t follow due process, or you believe your selection for redundancy is flawed, you may be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal or discrimination. Your employer cannot choose you for redundancy just because you were furloughed, for example.
Redundancies need to be fair and genuine, and employers must also consider members of staff who weren’t furloughed. In fact, it’s in their own interests to carry out the process correctly, given the stigma attached to an unfair dismissal or discrimination claim.
If you would like more guidance on your rights if you’re made redundant after furlough ends, please get in touch with our experts at Scotland Debt Solutions. We offer free, same day meetings to quickly provide the help you need.
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If you've been made redundant after furlough, understand your redundancy rights, how redundancy & notice pay is calculated and how to claim unfair dismissal.
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