Avoiding disputes tip #5 - 20% salary doesn't mean 20% work!

For today's tip on avoiding future disputes I thought I'd raise an issue that's actually been brought to my attention on three different occasions from three different employees.

It relates to people that are on furlough but are having their salaries topped up to 100%. For some reason their employers seem to think that they can ask the employee to do 20% of their job, because they're contributing 20% of their salary. Just for absolute clarity that is not the case. If an employee is furloughed you're saying that their job is redundant, therefore the tasks are not there - you can't ask the employee to do any of their tasks.

I thought I'd raise this because, as I say, it's been raised on a few occasions now and whilst employees may be reluctant to raise issues at the moment, It will come up in future. You can guarantee that it will become an issue for you once HMRC scrutinise how you treated employees whilst they were on furlough. If you are asking employees to do parts of their job then it's very likely that you'll be repaying that money back to HMRC.

So, just from an employment perspective - grievances, disputes, etc I really would avoid doing this, and from a future financial perspective I most definitely would avoid doing it.

So, I just thought I'd raise it as something that seems to be bubbling for a few employees and a few employers. Please avoid doing that because there will be disputes going forward.

Hope that helps and if you need any more information about this or mediation then give us a call.


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