Can I bring someone back from furlough into another role? Employment Law

As of 1st July 2020, employees on furlough can be moved to ‘flexible furlough’. This means that they can return to work flexibly and still be paid 80% of their contracted wage (up to £2,500 hours a month) for hours not worked.

Flexible furlough gives employers the room they need to bring employees back to work even if they aren’t yet in a position to have them back full time. This is fantastic news for businesses, individuals and the economy, however organisations may discover that employees are better placed elsewhere upon their return to meet the needs of the business.

Furlough and variation of contract

If an employer wants to bring someone back from furlough into another role this requires changes to the terms of their employment contract. This is called a variation of contract and it extends to changes in pay, hours of work, places of work, job duties, sick leave entitlement, contractual maternity rights and contractual redundancy rights.

While some employment contracts contain what is known as a ‘variation clause’, which allows employers to make changes to a contract, this can only be used if there is a good reason and a fair procedure must be followed prior to changes being made.

A variation of contract must be agreed by both parties in writing before it is brought into effect. An employee is perfectly within their rights to reject proposed changes to their contract.

If an employee doesn’t agree to the proposed changes there are avenues of action they can take. It is wise to seek professional advice in these specific cases in order to reach an informed decision.

Help and support from Beswicks Legal

If your employer wants to make changes to your contract, or you are an employer making these changes, you should get help from an experienced employment advisor or solicitor. Here at Beswicks Legal, our team of Employment Law specialists are on hand to answer any questions you may have in relation to variations in contract. For more information, contact us today.