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23 Frequently Asked Questions (including our practical 10 step guide for employers)

We expect that you will be inundated with guides on the CJRS. Each will be similar in many ways but you may find there is some differing of opinion. That is because the right of “furlough” is new to the UK. It never previously existed here. The term furlough already exists in other jurisdictions (e.g. the US) but that right is different to the new right in the UK and so we cannot take any learning from other countries

Furthermore, the guidance issued by the government on 26 March 2020 (namely: Link to guidance for employers (Click here) and Link to guidance for employees (Click here) is sparse and lacking in worked examples.

For those reasons, employment lawyers like us are having to interpret the new rules for ourselves and apply a “common sense” approach.

In addition, the new rules have been brought in with such speed (and are intended to be temporary in nature to deal with the crisis before us) that little, or no thought, has been given to how they fit in with already existing UK employment laws. Moreover, these may be new rules but we don’t see it as new law- no new regulations have been produced, for example- and so it is, essentially, just a new payment scheme between HMRC and employers. This may explain why the application of it is clunky and does not play out perfectly. Like you, we also have several questions (the “known unknowns”) and we have included some of those in this note.

It is not easy to apply new rules (at such speed) and so we hope that this note will help you to understand what has been introduced and how to apply it in practice. Please do get in contact with us if you need any assistance in applying the law to your specific situation.

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