Employees CAN be required to take leave during furlough leave

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Employees CAN be required to take leave during furlough leave

The government has updated its CJRS guidance to confirm that an employer CAN compel an employee to take annual leave during furlough leave. The updated guidance which specifically focuses on annual leave can be found here. Employers should read this guidance in full but the headline points are, as follows:

  • Employers can require workers to take annual leave during furlough leave
  • Employers can also cancel any pre-booked holiday that falls within the furlough period, if they give the employee notice of the cancellation
  • If an employer wants to compel an employee to take annual leave during furlough they must give the employee notice which equates to twice the amount of the holiday being requested (e.g. two weeks’ notice for one weeks’ leave).
  • For any cancellations, the employer must give the employee equal notice of the planned holiday to be cancelled.
  • Less notice can be agreed with an employee but not enforced
  • Annual leave definitely doesn’t interrupt furlough leave
  • Any holiday taken must be topped up to 100% by the employer
  • Employers need to tell employees why they are compelling them to take annual leave
  • Before compelling employees to take leave an employer must firstly consider whether there are any restrictions the employee may be under which would stop them from getting the benefit of their leave- i.e. “rest from work”. For example, if an employee is sick or self-isolating, it would not be possible for them to be compelled to take annual leave during this time
  • Employees can be compelled to take bank holidays provided the above notice provisions are adhered to. (This seems to put an end to the speculation of it being possible to gain retrospective consent for bank holidays already passed).

If you would like to discuss how this latest development affects you or, how it can be used to managed your employees who are on furlough leave please contact the Advisory Team on 01274 864999.

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