Covid-19: Seven steps to furloughing

30th March 2020

Covid-19: Seven steps to furloughing

It was not so long ago that the term furloughing was virtually unheard of.  Now, it is fast becoming the ‘new normal’.

Here are our seven steps to furloughing:

  1. Decide which employees to designate as furloughed employees
  1. Notify those employees of the intended change
  1. Consider whether it needs to consult with employee representatives or trade unions
  1. Agree the change with the furloughed employees. Most employment contracts will not permit an employer to reduce an employee's pay, provide them with no work and change their employment status, without agreement. However, faced with the alternatives, which are likely to be unpaid leave, lay-off, or redundancy, the majority of affected employees are likely to agree to be placed on furlough leave
  1. Confirm the employees' new status in writing. This is an eligibility requirement for accessing the subsidy, and a record must be kept of this correspondence. Ideally, the employer should advise how long it expects furlough leave to continue, however, this may be difficult in the current climate
  1. Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through the new online portal, expected to be operational by the end of April 2020
  1. Ensure that the employees do not carry out any further work for that employer whilst they are furloughed

Remember, furloughing is something that employees can ask for, but it's up to employers to grant it.

If you need support with furloughing members of your workforce or any other employment issues, please get in touch with our head of employment, Tim Jones, via phone 07815 167206 or email

For help and support with any other personal or business legal issues during the Covid-19 crisis, please call us on 0345 111 5050 or email


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