29 June 2020

I am due to Return to Work Shortly from Maternity Leave – Can my Employer Furlough me?

Whilst the deadline for new entrants for furlough was 10 June 2020, an employer can ask to furlough employees returning from maternity leave after this date. However, you will need to agree to this request and the employer must also have furloughed other employees previously. This arrangement also applies to other types of leave such as shared parental leave, paternity leave or parental bereavement leave. This change will only apply to employees that work for an organisation that has previously furloughed employees.

Announcing the changes, 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 have 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.”

Your employer should treat you fairly on your return from maternity leave. If you are concerned that you are being treated unfavourably, or if you are put at risk of redundancy, or asked to take a period of unpaid leave, you should take advice on your position and options to resolve concerns from our employment team.

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