1.These Regulations amend the “Lockdown 2” Regulations1 to permit shops, stalls, Christmas tree farms and other businesses selling or supplying natural Christmas trees to open. The main regulations are due to expire on 2 December.
2.This instrument ensures that from 18 November 2020 and in line with the effect of an earlier instrument2, various statutory entitlements based on a week’s pay and connected with termination of employment, are not reduced as a result of an employee being furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The entitlements are: redundancy pay; notice pay; compensation for unfair dismissal; a payment resulting from a failure to provide a written statement of reasons for dismissal; a payment resulting from a failure to comply with an order for reinstatement or re-engagement; and remuneration for time off to look for employment or arrange training. The instrument also extends the effect of the earlier instrument regarding how a week’s pay is to be calculated for the purpose of deciding whether an employee is taken to be on short-time for statutory purposes.
3.The earlier instrument assumed that the CJRS would end on 31 October 2020. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) explains that the Government subsequently announced that the CJRS would be extended until 31 March 2021, so the intention of this instrument is to ensure that all furloughed employees are protected until 31 March 2021. We asked the Department about the impact of the gap between 31 October, when the protection provided by the earlier instrument expired, and 18 November when this instrument came into force. BEIS told us that while there are no
“figures on the number of furloughed employees who may have received reduced statutory redundancy pay for reasons relating to the period between 31 October and 18 November 2020, given the extension of the furlough scheme meant that this was still available to employers after 31 October, we think it is relatively unlikely that many employers would be making previously furloughed employees redundant in that period”.
1 Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1200).
2 Employment Rights Act 1996 (Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week’s Pay) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/814), see: 25th Report, Session 2019-21 (HL Paper 123).