Can I be made redundant while on furlough?

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirmed to MPs in the House of Commons that employees will continue receiving 80 percent of their salary up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The furlough scheme was originally intended to end on October 31, being replaced with the Job Support Scheme from November 1. Over the weekend the Prime Minister said the support package would be extended until December 2, to help people going through lockdown.

Workers will continue receiving 80 percent of wages, but the amount the employer or Government contributes is up for review in January.

On top of the billions already spent on the scheme, the extension is expected to cost the Government and taxpayers much more.

The Bank of England expects 5.5million people to be furloughed in November alone.

The Bank also believes an estimated 2.5million people will still need support up until April 2021. 

Can I be made redundant if I’m on furlough?

Even though the furlough scheme is designed to retain jobs, it doesn’t necessarily protect you from redundancy.

But it doesn’t affect your redundancy rights either in the case you are let go from your job amid the coronavirus crisis.

Your employer is still required to carry out a fair redundancy process.

Workers are entitled to be consulted on the redundancy first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment as long as you have been working in the company for at least two years.

How much you are entitled to largely depends on your age and how long you’ve served the company.

The duration of employment is, however, capped at 20 years.

Workers who have been at the company less than two years will not be entitled to a redundancy payout.

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You will get:

Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22
One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
One-and-a-half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older

You are entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of losing your job.

Can I be furloughed if I was recently made redundant?

Thousands of workers were expected to be fired before furlough was due to end at the end of October.

If you were made redundant from your job shortly before the second lockdown, you can ask your old employer to rehire you so that you can be furloughed.

But you must have been on the RTI Payroll on September 23, 2020.

Bosses and managers have no legal obligation to rehire you, however, and it is completely at their discretion.

You also won’t be able to go back on the scheme by a former employer if you left your job because you voluntarily took time off from your job, for example, to go travelling.

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