Can you be made redundant while on furlough leave?

Before the coronavirus pandemic, it is very unlikely that the average employee in the UK would have known what ‘being furloughed’ meant. ‘Furlough’ itself was predominantly an American term, until the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme introduced the concept of ‘furlough leave’ to the United Kingdom.

While on furlough leave, an employee does not complete work for their employer – but remains employed by them and continues to be paid, while the employer claims 80% of the employee’s wages from the Government. The aim of this was to reduce redundancies, allowing an individual to remain employed while reducing the financial strain on their employer.  It is estimated that around 20% of employees in the UK have been placed on furlough leave; however we’ve heard from many people who are unsure about their rights.

One question we’ve head in particular is: can I be made redundant while furloughed?

Currently, the Government guidance is that furloughed employees can be made redundant. This can happen both at the end of a designated furlough period, and during it – meaning  you could serve your notice while still on furlough leave.

However, as a furloughed employee you do remain an employee. This means you have the same protection in employment law and are still entitled to consultation, a notice period or payment in lieu, and your employer must follow a fair selection process. If you have worked for your employer for > two years and feel they have not followed the correct process, then you may be able to claim for unfair dismissal. Additionally, if your employer makes 20 or more employees redundant at the same time and does not follow the correct procedure you may also be entitled to claim a protective award, even if you do not have two years of service

If you are currently on furlough leave and are facing redundancy, our team are on hand to help you through this time. We understand how difficult facing redundancy can be and our expert team is dedicated to ensuring you’re treated fairly throughout the process. Get in touch today on 02392 98 1000 or email 

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Wrongful dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unlawful discrimination
  • Harassment and victimisation
  • Equal pay
  • Unlawful deduction of wages
  • Breaches of contract
  • Protected disclosures (whistle blowing)
  • Transfer of undertaking (TUPE)
  • Settlement agreements

Sports and Football Law

  • Contracts of Employment
  • Service Agreements
  • Contractual Issues
  • Executive Departures

"Over the years, I have developed a great trust in my working relationship with Mike Dyer, Head of Commercial Law at Verisona. One of the things I value most is that he is always at the end of a phone. On the rare occasions he is unavailable, his secretary is always well informed and very helpful. Through Mike, I have met many other members of Verisona and, just like in the recruitment industry, they understand the importance of being treated like an individual. They make me feel valued and important to both them and their business. At Verisona, you always deal with real people who you know and are in a position to help. Most importantly, Verisona delivers. We recently had an urgent situation regarding the restrictive covenants of new members of staff. Employment specialist Susan Ball came in on a day off to listen to us, dissect and analyse the situation, and translate what we wanted to achieve into the best possible legal language and solution. This is just one example of the calm, efficient professionalism I have come to value from Verisona over the years. Verisona has a refreshing approach to the law. They are there when we need them, always easy to talk to, go out of their way to make sure that we understand what they are doing for us and why, and always get the best results".

Stuart Cox

Legally enforcing the tribunal award

To enforce the Tribunal award we applied to the Defendant’s local County Court for it to be registered and for permission to enforce the award.  

The Court granted the application and on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines.  As a result the Tribunal award would appear as a County Court Judgment which would likely affect the Defendant’s credit rating. 

Time limits for enforcing Tribunal awards

It is worth noting that there is no time restriction for registering or enforcing a Tribunal award. You can enforce one even if it is several years old.  In addition, it is usually possible to claim interest on the amount until you receive payment.

A commercial business

"Thanks for all your help on this - you've been so helpful to me in guiding and explaining everything, so just to say thank you for obviously helping represent my case but also allowing me to understand the process and giving me greater awareness of what I need to be mindful of when signing future contracts".

Former employee of professional football club

Sue was easy to deal with and offered all options available. Jane was in contact beforehand to tell me what information was needed and Sue was prepared for our meeting. I cannot praise Sue and Jane enough and would have absolutely no hesitation in reommending Sue and her team.

Mr B

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