How to bring employees back from furlough

Now that furlough is coming to an end, most businesses will be looking at the next steps for their employees.

Employers will receive a bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed by the 31st January 2021 (provided they earn at least £520 per month and are not serving their notice) so the focus for many businesses is now on how to bring these employees back.

It’s important that you follow the correct process to bring your employees back from furlough – both to keep you legally compliant and to ensure you can get the best out of them after what will have been a stressful time.

Communication is, crucial to this stage to ensure that you provide adequate notice to your employee and can help them work around other commitments they may have to consider now e.g. childcare, transport or work-from-home capabilities. We recommend having a discussion over the phone with your employee first to gain their input and then to follow up with a written notice that their furlough is coming to an end.

If you’re not yet in a position to bring furloughed employees back full-time you can utilise flexible furlough – where employees are furloughed part-time and work part-time. This allows you to continue to claim for the hours where they’re not working and also provides employees with a more gradual re-introduction to the workplace.

Bringing employees back from furlough on a part-time basis can be especially useful for employees who have been on furlough for a long time, who suffer with their mental health, or who have other commitments such as children to work around as it allows them to re-acquaint themselves with the industry, business and responsibilities of the role with a much lower risk of feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Once your employees are back from furlough you will need to consider how you can boost morale and get them to perform at their best after an extended period of not working. If you do not already have an employee benefits system in place, it may be time to look into it as a way of demonstrating that you value them and their skills. You should also be mindful of any training they may require to get them caught up with anything they missed while on furlough.

To chat with a HR professional about bringing your employees back from furlough, get in touch with our team.