Redundancies during coronavirus

Despite the Government putting in place a series of measures to help businesses retain staff, those with cash flow issues maybe not be able to cover 80% of salaries until reimbursed. For these companies where business has fallen sharply they may have no other than to make staff redundant.

These Q&A’s has been designed to help employers who will undoubtedly have to make some urgent and difficult decisions in the coming days.

Is it unreasonable to make redundancies now furlough leave is available?

There is no clear guidance on this yet. However, if cash flow issues mean that an employer can’t be reasonably expected to find the 80% of salary until money is reimbursed by the government, then it is likely to be reasonable to make redundancies.

Can employees be made redundant while on furlough?

Yes, there is no requirement to bring an employee back to work after the period of furlough. If an employee is made redundant during the period of furlough then grant payments to cover 80% of salary will cease.

Do the usual rules on collective consultancy periods apply for any redundancies made because of Coronavirus?

Employers may be able to avoid the full required consultation period where there are circumstances which would render it not possible to consult for this amount of time.

For example, the government ordering all non-essential businesses to close because of coronavirus, it would be difficult to prove that this does not amount to a special circumstance. An employer is still required to give notice and consult for a period that is reasonably practicable before a final redundancy decision is reached, to avoid being accused of not taking reasonable steps.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or need specific advice relating to your business. We are help to help guide and support you on this and other issues as they may arise. 01225 750 000 or email

Mogers Drewett

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