How do you manage employees who aren’t furloughed and are unhappy that they still have to work?
Although there is no formal selection process that must be followed in order to furlough staff, the basis for selecting who will be furloughed should be explained to all relevant staff. Basing this on work levels, required skills or whether work can in fact be carried out efficiently from home will help this process. Staff can be invited to volunteer to be furloughed or re-furloughed. Any requests can be considered on a case by case basis. It may be that a particular skill set is required which may result in an employee’s request being refused.
Furlough means temporary leave of absence. There is nothing to stop an employer seeking to agree a temporary leave of absence – with or without pay – with its workforce.
This could not be forced on an employee without significant risk. Without agreement, this would need fair selection and consultation – more on that later.
Ultimately closing a service will be a decision that is taken at the highest level and that decision will depend on risk appetite. Often these types of higher risk are mitigated by way of insurance but that still depends on an insurer being willing to accept that risk. This decision will depend on accepting a known risk and its consequences.
The General Medical Council (GMC) have published guidance online for doctors during this time of uncertainty.
Alongside this, their website displays guidance for temporary registration to approximately 15,000 doctors, who left the register or gave up their licence to practise in the last three years.
These clinicians have been contacted to assist with the growing pandemic, outlining the process they would follow and informing them of their right to opt-out. The Secretary of State for Health can ask the GMC to grant such registration under Section 18a of the Medical Act 1983, in an emergency.
Safeguarding issues are relatively uncommon, however, if they do occur, the normal safeguarding procedure of the organisation should be followed.
Yes, however holiday pay during furlough must remain at the normal rate of pay and not the reduced furloughed rate. You can still claim for this period under the scheme but you will be responsible for any amounts beyond the maximum you can claim. Employers have flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken both during and after period of furlough in the normal way.
If an employee usually works bank holidays then the employer can agree that this is included in the grant payment. If the employee usually takes the bank holiday as leave then you would either have to top up their usual holiday pay, or give the employee a day of holiday in lieu.