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Parents returning to work after extended leave eligible for furlough

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

People on paternity and maternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be eligible for the government’s furlough scheme.

New parents returning to work after leave can be furloughed even after today’s cut-off date, the Government has announced.

Today is the last day an employer can put an employee on their first period of furlough if the employer wants to furlough that employee for all or part of their normal hours and claim a grant under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after 30 June 2020.

This is because claims for periods after 30 June 2020 will only be possible from employers who have previously furloughed a worker for three weeks ending no later than 30 June.

However, Maternity Action raised the point that the 10 June deadline would exclude women currently on maternity leave, and other new parents or adopters on leave, who are not due to return to work until after 10 June.

The group was concerned that these workers would be made redundant if they couldn’t be furloughed.

Subsequently, the government has added an exemption to the 10 June deadline for people returning from family leave. However, this will only apply where they work for an employer who has previously furloughed employees.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “When I announced these changes to the furlough scheme last month, I was clear that we wanted to do this in a fair way, that supports people back to work as the country begins to re-open following coronavirus.

“But for parents returning from leave, their circumstances has meant that they are still in need of support, and I’m pleased that they will be able to receive the financial assistance they and their family will need.”

The government announced yesterday that 8.9m jobs have been furloughed under the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, with employers claiming a total of £19.6bn to cover their wages.