Employment guidance for Carers and Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
The Government has clarified its guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
Employees are eligible for the CJRS, and can be furloughed, if they are unable to work, including from home or working reduced hours because they:
- are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health guidance
- have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in their household
The guidance states that “If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021. You should have a conversation with your employer about whether this is possible”
Susan Mayall, Head of Employment Law for Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers explains, “This does not mean that your employer MUST furlough you – it is simply one option available to the employer. This does however raise the question as to what remedies might be available to a clinically vulnerable person, or their carer, or a person with responsibility for caring for school age children if, where it is not possible for the employee to work from home, an employer refuses to furlough the employee in favour of dismissal.“
This guidance does make it clear that parents who stay at home to look after school-age children are eligible to be furloughed.
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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
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