Guidance issued for construction employers on ‘unfurloughing’ workers

THE Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum has issued guidance for firms preparing to ‘unfurlough’ staff and get them back to work.

With the Scottish Government authorising a phased easing of the lockdown rules, the Forum’s 22-page document, Returning from Furloughprovides a step-by-step overview of how employers should bring workers back to full employment.

The guidance covers issues including: the timeline for bringing furlough to an end; the steps to keep furloughed workers safe; measures to ‘unfurlough’ workers; potential refusal to return; and the mental health of staff.

Fiona Harper, director of employment and skills at CICV Forum member SELECT said, “The past few months have been a particularly stressful time for both employers and employees, but we are now approaching the stage where firms may be looking at the process of how to ‘unfurlough’ their staff. Our latest guidance, therefore, looks in detail at the options that all parties face now that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until October and employers will be asked to begin to share the burden of paying salaries with the UK Government.”

The document also supplies letter templates covering the restart, as well as any health and safety preparations and a questionnaire to help gather information about the process.

Vaughan Hart, MD of Forum member the Scottish Building Federation and chair of the Forum Employment sub-group added, “Employers have a duty of care for the health, safety and wellbeing of their workers and must identify and manage any risks. They must also communicate their intentions clearly to their staff and this latest document provides practical guidance and templates which will help them to do that timeously and effectively.”