Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 18th September 2020.

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Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that companies that have received funding from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comply with employment law on recruitment and redundancy processes.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

Our guidance to employers using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) makes clear that employees still have the same rights at work. They must continue to comply with employment and equalities laws when using the scheme, including in relation to recruitment, redundancy and dismissal.

Employers should always be fair and objective in their recruitment processes. Provided they do not discriminate unlawfully, for example on grounds of race, sex or disability, they are free to use the recruitment methods that they consider best suit their needs.

Any redundancy process should be fair and reasonable, with appropriate equalities considerations. Employees with the necessary qualifying service who believe that they have been unfairly selected for redundancy, or that the redundancy was unfair in some other way, may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

The Government has also introduced new legislation which commenced on 31 July to ensure that furloughed employees who are subsequently made redundant receive statutory redundancy pay, statutory notice pay, unfair dismissal compensation and pay for short-time working based on the employee’s normal pay, rather than their furlough pay (potentially 80% of their normal wage). The Government has always urged employers to do the right thing and not seek to disadvantage furloughed employees who are facing redundancy.

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