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Employment Law - Update - Covid-19 - Furlough Leave detail so much required, but Volunteering Leave now in place

The detail of the Furlough Leave scheme is desperately required. The reality is that many employers are now having to apply furlough leave even though there are only headline details about how it will operate and many questions still to answer.

In the meantime, though the Government has rushed through Emergency Volunteering Leave. A few headlines in relation to it: -

• This applies to most employers but not to those with a headcount of less than 10.

• The right will be to unpaid leave – but terms and conditions save relating to pay will continue.

• The person will be acting as an Emergency Volunteer in the health or social care sector and a certificate will be issued by the user of the volunteer which will be known as an Emergency Volunteering Certificate.

• This will provide for a period of work of either 2, 3 or 4 consecutive weeks beginning and ending within a set 16-week block.

• The volunteer will need to give the employer at least 3 working days’ notice before the start of the first day of the period.

• Unless the employer is a small employer, as defined above in a small number of excluded categories which are public sector related, the employer will have to agree to the leave. If the volunteer is dismissed, the dismissal will be automatically unfair. There will be no service requirement, so an employee could bring a Tribunal claim even if the employment has only just started. Also, a claim could be brought if there is any other detriment as a result of a release.

 Nigel Tillott, Head of Employment and Regulatory Law, DDI 01452 689100 



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