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Furlough extended for parents on statutory leave

Parents on statutory maternity and paternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be eligible for the government’s furlough scheme even after the 10 June cut-off date, the Treasury has announced

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until October, with new flexibilities introduced from 1 July allowing furloughed employees to return to work part-time.

The government previously announced that to enable the introduction of part-time furloughing, and support those already furloughed back to work, claims from July onwards will be restricted to employers currently using the scheme and previously furloughed employees. This means people must be on the furlough scheme by 10 June.

However, the Treasury has now confirmed that parents on statutory maternity and paternity leave who return to work in the coming months after a long period of absence will be permitted to be furloughed.

This applies to people on adoption leave, shared parental leave, and parental bereavement leave, but only in circumstances where they work for an employer who has previously furloughed employees.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: ‘When I announced these changes to the furlough scheme last month, I was clear that we wanted to do this in a fair way, that supports people back to work as the country begins to re-open following coronavirus.

‘But for parents returning from leave, their circumstances has meant that they are still in need of support, and I’m pleased that they will be able to receive the financial assistance they and their family will need.’

The CJRS, which has seen one million employers across the UK furlough almost 9m jobs, will close to new entrants on 30 June, with the last three-week furloughs before that point commencing on 10 June.

More details of the change will be included in updated guidance, to be published on 12 June.

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