The Government has announced that parents on family leave who return to work in the coming months can be furloughed and are exempt from the 10 June cut-off date, provided the employer has previously furloughed employees. This extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) applies to those on maternity, paternity, adoption leave, shared parental leave and parental bereavement leave.
The change follows an appeal to the Government by Maternity Action, which expressed concerns on behalf of women currently on maternity leave that if their place of work had not fully re-opened by the end of their maternity leave, and if they could not be furloughed, that their employer would simply make them redundant.
In the Government press release, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP said: "When I announced these changes to the furlough scheme last month, I was clear that we wanted to do this in a fair way, that supports people back to work as the country begins to re-open following coronavirus. But for parents returning from leave, their circumstances has meant that they are still in need of support, and I’m pleased that they will be able to receive the financial assistance they and their family will need.”
The Government is due to publish further details of the recent updates to the Scheme on 12 June. We will continue to keep our FAQs up-to-date with all the latest changes and will let you know via e-alert when the updated guidance is available.