MILLIONS of furloughed workers should find out this week if they will lose their job when the coronavirus job retention scheme comes to an end next month.
Many businesses planning to cut jobs must alert staff of the risk of redundancy by Wednesday this week if they intend on dismissing staff as soon as the furlough scheme ends in October.
A consultation period must start at least 45 days before the first job loss when more than 100 staff are made redundant.
The coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) – the government-backed initiative which pays part of the wages of furloughed staff – ends on Saturday 31 October.
Wednesday 16 September marks 45 days before this.
Companies can still make staff redundant after this date, but they will have to pay full wages from 1 November onward without furlough scheme support.
Seven things to check if you’re at risk of redundancy
When you are made redundant you have certain rights. Here’s what Citizens Advice suggest you check.
1. Is your redundancy fair?
There are certain rules that need to be followed for your redundancy to be considered fair.
2. How much is your redundancy pay?
This can depend on how long you've been there, your age and what's in your contract.
3. Is your redundancy pay 100%?
Calculations should be made based on full pay not furlough pay.
4. What is your notice period?
The length of your notice depends on how long you've been there.
5. What holiday pay do you get?
You should get paid any outstanding holiday.
6. Can you get paid time off to look for work?
Employers should give you time off to apply for jobs or training and pay you for it.
7. Can you get legal help through your insurance?
Home insurance policies often have legal expenses cover which can help you pay for legal support.
Read more about what to check for.
Citizens Advice is reminding people to check their redundancy rights, including that the 45 day rule for consultation is followed.
Tracey Moss, senior employment expert at Citizens Advice, said: “If you’re at risk of redundancy, it’s important to know you do have rights to help protect you from unfair dismissal and to ensure you’re paid what you’re owed.
“It’s completely understandable that you may find the rules and procedures overwhelming, but you don’t have to face redundancy alone. If you’re struggling, contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help.”
If your employer fails to consult properly, including starting late or not consulting at all, you could make a claim to an employment tribunal.
Where there are redundancies of between 20 and 99 staff, the redundancy consultation must start at least 30 days before the dismissals.
In this case, employers will have to notify staff by 1 October if they intend to make them redundant as soon as the furlough scheme ends.
For redundancies of less than 20, there are no rules for the length of the consultation and there is no maximum length for redundancy consultation.
Redundancy consultation times
Most employers need to consult staff about redundancies and the time this consultation takes depends on how many jobs are being made redundant.
- 20 to 99 redundancies – the consultation must start at least 30 days before any dismissals take effect
- 100 or more redundancies – the consultation must start at least 45 days before any dismissals take effect
When there are fewer than 20 redundancies, there is no set time period.
A wave of job cuts have already taken place, with the travel, retail and hospitality industries among the hardest hit so far.
London City airport, Pret A Manger and Marks and Spencer are among those to have announced redundancy plans.
LinkedIn careers expert Charlotte Davies said: “Losing your job can be a really destabilising experience, especially in this challenging economic climate.
"LinkedIn data shows that there are currently three times as many people applying for every role compared to last year.
“But while the prospect of landing a new role in the current jobs market may seem daunting, the good news is there are still jobs out there.
She recommends looking at and improving your skills.
She said: “Reflect on your transferable skills and consider if there are any gaps in your skillset that you could fill with an online learning course.
"LinkedIn Learning is currently offering nearly 1,000 hours of free courses to help people reskill for in-demand digital roles.
And don't forget to take advantage of your network of people you know.
She said: “Don’t be afraid to reach out to your online networks for advice and opportunities.
"We’ve seen so many conversations happening on LinkedIn over the past few months from members who have been made redundant or furloughed, and then found new positions through their online community.”
Fresh calls have been made for the furlough scheme to be extended over fears the UK could be hit with a “second wave” of redundancies.
Around half a million people could lose their jobs this autumn, a shocking new study has predicted.
Martin Lewis has urged furloughed workers to check if they’re still being paid 80% of their salary after a change in how the scheme works.
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