Many employers with employees on furlough leave will be starting to think about the future and what will happen at the end of June when the scheme (as currently planned) will come to an end.
It's clear that life as we knew it will not simply resume, and that social distancing (in some form at least) will continue for some time. Whilst businesses may start to re-open, it is likely that this will be gradual and that in some industries (such as hospitality) not all staff will be required to return at once.
To guard against this, some employers are already considering redundancies (especially as, depending on the number of proposed redundancies, employers need to consult with employees and/or their representatives for up to 45 days).
The news that the Treasury is thinking about extending the furlough scheme to allow employers to furlough staff on a more flexible basis is a welcome development. Let's watch this space...
“You can’t just flick the switch and everything is back to normal. That might not happen this year or even into 2021,” said Richard Warren, head of policy at UK Steel. “Companies want the same system as Germany where instead of 30 per cent of staff not working, all staff work 30 per cent lower hours.”