There is no set format for ending a period of furlough. That doesn’t mean you should approach it casually. Issuing an end of furlough letter makes the process formal and ensures all parties are aware of the steps and dates of the return.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the return to work process and provide you with a free letter template you can use to return people to work.
Return to work
As furlough comes to an end on 30th September 2021, you should be looking to get people back to work, or exploring alternative options. You can keep staff on furlough until the end of September, however you should have a plan for them to return prior to this date. In most cases, bringing them back sooner will be beneficial, as it means you won’t be caught off guard when September ends.
Whatever date you choose to bring employees back, make this date clear in your end of furlough letter.
Restrictions in England have eased, with some restrictions remaining in Scotland and Wales. That doesn’t necessarily mean all COVID-safe measures you’ve put in place should be stripped back. Whatever your situation, you should inform the returning employee of the steps you have taken to keep them safe in the workplace. This will help ease their transition. This may not be necessary if individuals are returning to work remotely, or from a home office. If this is different from their usual working pattern, they should be informed whether this will be a temporary change or permanent.
Whatever the employee is returning to, they should be provided clarity on their wages and their annual leave entitlement.
Why is it important to get this right?
Firstly, being open and clear with the return to work process can make the difference between a smooth transition and a difficult one. You’re more likely to damage the relationship between you and the employee if you surprise them with an end to their furlough period.
Secondly, furlough and COVID related tribunal cases are increasing. As this is a relatively new area for employment law, there is little precedent for how rulings will go. Don’t take the risk. Follow a reasonable, fair process, and keep all lines of communication open.
End of furlough letter template
To download your free end of furlough letter template, simply click the button below.
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