Workforce planning - who to furlough

25 Mar 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has given employers breathing space and more options on how they can reduce staff costs, but with options there comes difficult choices on who should be furloughed, retained in the business and possibly made redundant.

Furloughing staff is only one of a range of options available to employers. It should be considered alongside other measures including short time working, pay reductions (which will be needed even with furloughed staff if the employer does not top up the remaining 20% of pay) and redundancies.

As part of inevitable workforce planning and structural changes needed, employers may want to consider three categories in their workforce planning:

1. Staff who will be designated with furloughed status
2. Staff who are required to ensure the business can continue through the crisis
3. The number of staff in roles that are unlikely to be required post Covid-19 due to the time it will take for the business to re-build

The selection of who will be in what category will need to be considered carefully and fairly to comply with existing employment law. Whilst pragmatism and business survival may be current priorities, the risks of this approach need to be addressed before employers make their decisions.

If you would like to discuss your options in relation to workforce planning or furloughing staff during these uncertain times, please contact Partner, Rebecca Thornley Gibson by phone or by email, or your usual employment contact at DMH Stallard. 

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