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Furlough letter for previously furloughed employees

This furlough letter should be used when dealing with an employee that has previously been furloughed.

Deal with employee furloughing using this furlough letter for previously furloughed employees. Recall an employee from furlough, either on a full-time or flexible basis, re-furlough an employee that has previously been recalled from furlough, and change a flexibly furloughed employee’s hours or days of work. 

Use this furlough letter for previously furloughed employees:

  • when you want to recall an employee from furlough

  • when you want to put an employee on part-time (‘flexible’) furlough

  • when you need to change the days or hours of work for a recalled employee

  • when you want to re-furlough an employee

This furlough letter covers:

  • the date on which the employee was initially furloughed

  • when the employee is expected to resume work

  • if the employee will be recalled part-time or full-time

  • what days the employee will work

  • where the employee will be working from

  • the date from which the employee will be re-furloughed 

  • how much the employee will be paid

Use this furlough letter when you have previously put an employee on furlough and sought support under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and now wish to change their employment status. Where you wish for an furloughed employee to return to work (on a full-time or part-time basis), you can use this furlough letter to recall a furloughed employee. 

Where an employee has previously been recalled from furlough on a part-time basis, you can use this letter to change their hours or days of work if necessary. Where an employee has previously been recalled from furlough on a full-time basis, you can use this letter to place them on flexible furlough.

You can also use the furlough letter where you need to re-furlough an employee (who was previously furloughed) due to a downturn in business or closure of your business and can't afford to keep paying your employees because of Covid-19.

For more information, read Furlough, workforce reduction and managing employees.

Until March 2021, all employees can be placed on furlough, regardless of whether or not they had previously been furloughed, provided they were on their employer's payroll on 30 October 2020.

Where you wish to furlough an employee that has not previously been furloughed, use a Furlough agreement letter to employees.

Before changing an employee’s employment status (eg by placing them on part-time furlough, changing their hours of work, re-furloughing them or recalling them from furlough) you should have a discussion with them. Inform them of the upcoming changes and explain what this means for them.

Under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme the Government will cover up to 80% of a 'furloughed' employee's salary, capped at a maximum of £2,500 per month. 

Furloughed employees’ salaries covered by the government grant will be subject to deductions for tax, national insurance and any employee pension contributions.

You don't have to cover the other 20% of the employee's salary. 

Between November and December 2020, the Government will cover 80% of furloughed employee's pay, up to £2,500 per month. Employers will need to pay National Insurance and pension contributions. More information regarding the period between January and March 2021 will be provided by the Government in due course.

Employers can voluntarily make up the rest of the salary. This letter allows you to decide whether you will make up the rest of the employee's salary.

Part-time or flexible furlough allows employees to be furloughed on a part-time basis. Employees will be paid their usual salary in full for the days they work. For the days they do not work (ie the days the employees are furloughed) they will be covered by the Scheme.

The amount of time an employee works each week can be varied over the month, with employers varying it week by week. Employers may, for example, wish to have their employees come in for more time if their business suddenly picks up. 

This means that employers can recall furlough employees for any amount of time and on any pattern of work they agree on, while claiming support from the Scheme for the hours not worked by the employee.

No definitive guidance is available regarding how much notice an employee should give their employee when recalling them from furlough. However, employers should give their employees reasonable notice to return to work to allow employees to make any necessary arrangements (eg child care arrangements). An estimate of the notice period employers should give their furloughed employees should be included in their Furlough letter to employees or set out in their re-furlough letter.

This will depend on your business and the employee’s role, in addition to Government guidance. The lockdown restrictions will likely be lifted incrementally, and all staff who can work from home will be expected to carry on doing so. Where an employee can work from home, it may be prudent to ask them to work from home. 

Where an employee cannot work from home and will be returning to the business premises, employers should consider a detailed risk management approach to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Employers should base their approach on employees returning to the workplace on the Government and public health guidance

When you are changing an employee’s terms of employment (eg by changing their hours of work, or re-furloughing them), you will typically need to gain their consent. 

The Government's guidance on support for businesses states that employers that wish to designate employees as 'furlough workers' must notify them of this change and the change in status may be subject to negotiation or contract.

Unless the employer has a contractual right to make changes to the employment terms, the employer will need the employee's agreement to do this. For example, where an employee wishes to re-furlough an employee, they will need the employee's agreement to be placed on furlough leave unless they have a contractual right to lay off workers. Similarly, the employee's agreement is needed to make a reduction in pay. For more information, read Changing employment terms.

However, it is highly likely that employees will agree, if the only alternatives are redundancy or unpaid leave. It's important that if the employee agrees, you get this in writing or recorded in using this document.

Ask a lawyer for advice if:

  • you're unsure of the process

  • the document doesn't meet your needs or cover what you want

  • your employee refuses to return to work

  • the employee does not agree to be re-furloughed

  • the employee does not consent to the changes to their employment terms and conditions

This furlough letter for previously furloughed employees is governed by the laws of England and Wales.

Other names for Furlough letter for previously furloughed employees

Furlough agreement, Flexible furlough letter, Furlough recall letter, Furloughed employee return to work letter, Recall from furlough, Part-time furlough letter, Change to employment hours letter, Re-furlough letter.

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