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Can I rotate staff who are furloughed? Can I put someone on furlough, bring them back when I need to, and then put them back on furlough, as demand requires? And practically how can we deal with this for those who want to rotate?

You can rotate staff on furlough or flexible furlough as long as you have furloughed all new entrants by 10 June for three consecutive weeks, and that those you are seeking to re-furlough have been furloughed for three consecutive weeks any time between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

Prior to 1 July, the minimum period of furlough is three weeks. After 1 July flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time and you can enter into a flexible furlough agreement more than once. Although you can flexibly furlough for any length of time after 1 July, you must claim for a minimum period of 7 calendar days unless otherwise stated.

Practically how to deal with those who want to rotate
One option is to make it clear in the letter agreeing to being furloughed that there is an open ended right to rotate and to be able to take them off furlough and bring them back and put them back on, subject to them being furloughed for a minimum of a three week block (up to 1 July).

So the employer reserves the ability to rotate by building into the agreement, but only exercises it if it is permissible.

Rotation is quite key for employers who need to make a temporary reduction to their overheads but want to retain the skills base to call back when work picks up. Having furloughed staff return on a part-time basis from 1 July may reduce the need to rotate.

It also helps in the employer being able to show that they are treating the workforce as fairly as possible and everyone is taking a reduction. Get in touch if you need help preparing the documentation for furlough that will permit rotation or flexible furlough.

Read more about flexible furlough and how this can be used as part of the CJRS.

 

Read more about this and other questions in our

People & Employment section.

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This page was updated on 15.06.2020

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Given the fast pace of change, we would stress that this information is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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