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The End of Furlough: Everything You Need to Know


The End of Furlough: Everything You Need to Know

As we enter the wind-down period for the Coronavirus Job Retention furlough scheme, employers must be prepared for the decisions they may need to make next.

The Coronavirus Job Retention furlough scheme has allowed millions of workers to retain their jobs and an income during the pandemic and enabled many businesses to stay afloat and avoid the economic crisis. The furlough scheme is officially due to be phased out on 30th September 2021, but the number of furloughed employees has been falling as the economy has re-opened and we step towards normality. There are a number of considerations employers still relying on furlough need to consider before this date –



Employer contributions to the furlough grant increased to 10% in July and 20% in August, so the financial implication of this might have already prompted the gradual return of some furloughed staff before the 30th September deadline. Remember, when giving notice to staff returning to work, refer to the timeframe given in the original furlough agreement.




You need to consider the roles you need filling, not the individuals who undertake them, when making staffing decisions to avoid discrimination. If a business is unable to bring staff back from furlough due to financial uncertainty, there are a number of workforce options to consider before forced redundancies (read also: Making Employee Redundancies: Everything You Need to Know):

  • Reduced hours – flexible furlough – in which a staff member can remain on furlough part-time – will also end in September, but with proper HR consultation, reducing hours could be an option for some staff to cut-costs, especially if your contracts contain a flexibility clause.
  • Redeployment – a restructure might be necessary in order to bring staff back to work. You will need the agreement of staff, but the new redeployed role does not need to be the same duties, location or seniority level.
  • Voluntary redundancy – before resorting to compulsory redundancy, it is always worth canvassing your workforce. A hefty redundancy package might be worthwhile in the long run to be able to return to future profitability.

Remember you will need to consult with staff before making any contractual changes. The general contractual principle is that change can only be effective when:

  • there’s contractual provision which permits a change to be made.
  • the employee agrees to the proposed change.
  • the employee’s representatives agree to the proposed change, for example, a trade union.


Keeping costs down:


It may be necessary to make cuts elsewhere to bring staff back to the workplace after the furlough scheme ends. Look at freezing recruitment or training budgets until the business is in a position to financially support these other areas. Again, be sure to consult staff before making changes such as these if pay rises for example are written into a contract of employment.




Encourage communication with any staff returning from furlough. There might still be uncertainty over job security and wider anxiety about the pandemic. Create an environment in which staff can request support or voice concerns. Consider taking a risk management approach to employee health and wellbeing upon return to work and be prepared to have conversations about flexible working and working from home where possible. Maintaining a good relationship with staff should ensure a smooth transition back into the workplace.


Expert Advice on Business Recovery Post-Furlough


If you’re at all worried about what the post-furlough period might hold for your company, seek expert advice from the business recovery specialists at Voscap by calling 020 7769 6831 or emailing team@voscap.co.uk.

About Voscap Ltd

Voscap’s primary objective is to save your business! Our team of experts’ knowledge in restructuring and turnaround assignments is invaluable when assessing the best option available to your needs. With experience spanning several decades, we have the skill and resources to provide viable solutions within all industry sectors. All organisations go through difficult times and we are here to help. From small to multi-million turnover businesses, we have dealt with the most complex of cases. We offer an initial free assessment in analysing your financial position and providing clear and precise advice making your experience a simple non-complicated process. Get in touch →

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