Coronavirus, people and employment law

Workers on building site

We aim to provide advice on the various issues and scenarios around the challenge in managing staff during the coronavirus outbreak period in context of Employment Law. In addition, we will explore what government interventions mean for this area.

  • What is the government’s ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’? What is “furloughing”?


  • In light of school closures in England, who is classified as a key worker?

  • How do I access the funding for furloughed workers?

  • Will redundancies be considered unfair in circumstances where employers could have applied for the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’?

  • Can I “furlough” or lay-off my staff or put them on short-time working, on a temporary basis, in order to get my business through the Covid-19 pandemic?

  • What if there isn’t a contractual right to “furlough” or lay-off employees or introduce short-time working?

  • If the “furlough” or lay-off, or period of short-time working goes on for long enough, can employees apply for redundancy and claim redundancy pay?


  • I’ve heard of “statutory guarantee payments” – what are they?

  • What does it mean, “When employers are making decisions in relation to the process, including deciding who to offer furlough to, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way”?

  • Will I need to top up the other 20% of pay for furloughed workers?

  • Is there a duration attached the furloughed status?

  • How will holiday entitlement and pay be treated during the furlough period?

  • Can we use the scheme for staff whose start date has been deferred or where offers have been withdrawn?

  • Can we deduct pension, and other voluntary deductions from furloughed workers pay?

  • I have a member of staff currently on maternity leave. Can I put her on furlough and reduce how much I pay her?

  • Can furloughed workers be rotated back into the business?

  • I have a member of staff who is now unable to come to work because they have childcare responsibilities looking after school or pre-school age children who can no longer go to school or nursery. Can I furlough them?

  • I am a Sole Director of a Limited company, can I furlough myself?

  • How will this period impact my staff’s annual leave allowances at the end of the year?

  • How to I carry out a Right to Rent and Right to Work check during the coronavirus outbreak?

  • Where can I find more information on coronavirus and pensions?

  • If an employee is furloughed during a bank holiday are they entitled to take extra holiday when back to work or should they be paid full pay?

  • Business West have been instrumental in liaising with local authorities to win their support for the scheme [new government support in the form of a grant for businesses who previously missed out] and helping to devise a straightforward implementation which will be crucial in the coming weeks for local businesses. I think this campaign has demonstrated just how crucial local business organisations are to small business communities and the levels of support they can offer and what can be achieved when we all work together.
    Becca Luger
    Owner, Crumpet Cakes
  • Get in touch

    If you have a question or feedback, contact our team.