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Reduced Hours for Flexible Furlough

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Hi Guys, 

I've tried finding guidance on this on the Government website, but can't seem to find much specifically. 

If an employee is on flexible furlough (getting topped up hours) but is choosing to now have reduced hours as they want to change jobs, are they still entitled to the full top up of hours? The employer would be able to give them sufficient hours whereby they wouldn't need the furlough top-up, so it doesn't really seem in the furlough spirit for her to get the top up, if it was her choice not to get the hours?

Any advice is much appreciated, 

Replies (4)

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By Paul Crowley
20th Jun 2021 20:13

The hours are not reduced as a result of COVID
Any claim would be deliberate and concealed
100% penalty

Did you really need to ask?

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By the_drookit_dug
20th Jun 2021 20:49

Does the employer need to get other folk in to do the work she is refusing?

This scenario is going to be rife. Another reason to loathe CJRS, it's just so open to abuse.

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By Hugo Fair
20th Jun 2021 20:55

It's really hard to tell what you're trying to describe ... especially as there's no concept of "topped up hours" under CJRS.

Before going any further, please be clear that furloughing isn't in itself a new concept or regulated by the govt - it is merely a variation to an existing Employment contract, agreed between employer and employee, regarding hours worked and hours paid for.

CJRS is the govt scheme under which an employer may reclaim some of the associated costs resulting from furlough ... albeit subject to strict rules.
[So you can furlough an employee if he/she agrees to it even though, for instance, you won't be able to make a claim for it under CJRS].

Flexible furlough refers (in terms of any subsequent CJRS claim) to a situation where the employee works some (but not all) of the usual hours defined in their contract.

From the CJRS perspective, you would need to be able to define: the 'usual hours' contracted to work, and the 'actual hours' worked ... leaving you with the difference as the potentially 'furloughed hours'. But this is ONLY valid where the furloughed hours are unworked due to the impact of coronavirus on the business, as defined by the employer.

So if you are saying (and I'm not sure that you are) that the employee is requesting to work fewer than the 'usual hours' (at her choice and unrelated to any employer decision driven by the impact of covid-19), then the difference can NOT be categorised as furlough hours eligible for a CJRS claim.

Does this help?

EDIT: If you're saying that employee is refusing to work more of her 'usual hours' despite being asked to do so by her employer, then she is likely in breach of her contract - and liable to dismissal if that's what the employer chooses to do.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By SLG Accounting
20th Jun 2021 20:55

Hi Hugo, makes perfect sense, thank you!

Yes, the employee is wanting to work less hours, as they're looking for a new position elsewhere - not being forced into less hours due to less work.

My concern was more from an entitlement side of things from the employee's perspective (them arguing that they're owed something), as opposed to a claim, but what you've said makes the situation a lot more clear!

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