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Changes to the furlough scheme & returning to your practice

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Changes to the furlough scheme & returning to your practice

What changes have been announced to the Furlough scheme?  

  • It has been confirmed that the last day that you can place an employee on furlough leave is 10 June.
  • From 1 July, employees will be able to work part-time and be furloughed part-time.
  • From 1 August, employers will have to pay employees’ national insurance and pension contributions, and can no longer recover them from HMRC.
  • From 1 September, HMRC will only reimburse 70% of salary up to a maximum of £2,190. Employers will be required to top up to 80% or more, depending on what was agreed.
  • From 1 October, HMRC will only reimburse 60% of salary up to a maximum of £1,875. Employers will be required to top up to 80% or more, depending on what was agreed.

 

What if an employee cannot return to work due to childcare issues?

The current guidance suggests employees who have childcare issues can stay on furlough even if there is work available for them. As of 1 July when the scheme changes, you can bring them back part time.

What if an employee is pregnant or in the extremely vulnerable category?

If people have been advised to shield by the government, then they should remain on furlough until further guidance is announced in respect of the vulnerable category. For pregnant women that have not been advised to shield, you should carry out a health and safety risk assessment, but it would be advisable to keep them on furlough until 1 July and await further guidance on this area.

Can I make employees redundant?

For there to be a genuine redundancy situation there must be a business closure, a workplace closure or a reduced need for employees to carry out work of a particular kind. If this definition is satisfied, you should make sure that you follow a fair redundancy procedure, and follow your Practice’s redundancy procedure (if you have one). We would urge you to contact us for advice before commencing a redundancy procedure, as we can help ensure that there is no risk of discrimination in deciding who to make redundant, and ensure that you follow a fair procedure.

Can we change an employee’s hours?

If you are considering changes to any contractual terms of your employees, the best way to do this is by agreement. If employees are not agreeable we would advise you to contact us so that we can advise you on the consultation process of changing an employee’s terms and conditions. A change of terms and conditions is also a trigger point to issue an employee with a new contract under the Good Work Plan, and it is vital that any new contracts are compliant with the changes.

Can I terminate self-employed agreements?

If you are a private practice there is no reason why you cannot serve notice to terminate self-employed contracts, however you should ensure you follow the notice provisions within the contract. If you have an NHS Contract, we would advise that you contact us for specific advice to ensure that there are no risks associated with terminating the contract if you are still able to pay them with the monies received from your NHS payments.

Can I make changes to our self-employed agreements?

Yes, you just need to serve notice in accordance with the provisions of the contract. We would advise that you serve notice in writing, however it may be a good opportunity to provide new self-employed contracts that are up to date with current legislation and practices, and ensure self-employed status of the associate or hygienist.

Contact us on 0330 088 2275 or [email protected] for further advice.

The team at FTA Law provides advice to clients across the commercial and healthcare sectors with many of our instructions coming from referrals from long standing clients and industry contacts.

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