The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) also known as the furlough scheme has been extended until 31 October 2020. There are a number of important changes to the way the scheme works starting from 1 July 2020, when employers can bring back furloughed employees to work part-time, for any amount of time and any shift pattern. One of the specified changes is that the final date employers could furlough staff for the first time was 10 June 2020.
However, employees who return to work from maternity and paternity leave after 10 June had not been considered. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has now confirmed that affected employees could still be furloughed in future as long as their employer has already furloughed employees under the CJRS.
This means that in most cases parents on statutory maternity and paternity leave, who return to work in the coming months after a long period of absence, will be permitted to be furloughed. This change also applies to those on adoption leave, shared parental leave and parental bereavement leave.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP said:
'When I announced these changes to the furlough scheme last month, I was clear that we wanted to do this in a fair way, that supports people back to work as the country begins to re-open following Coronavirus.
But for parents returning from leave, their circumstances has meant that they are still in need of support, and I’m pleased that they will be able to receive the financial assistance they and their family will need.'