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Back to work – Is it safe? Is it essential? Is it mutually agreed?

The CIPD has issued some excellent advice for employers following the government’s decision to ease lockdown restrictions this week and start to encourage some people back to work. The “three test” workplace scheme asks businesses to sense check their actions by answering three questions: Is it safe, is it essential and has it been mutually agreed?

Even when these checks have been made, the CIPD warns that any return must be gradual.

Read the CIPD “three test” workplace guidance here

In the meantime, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today (12th May) announced an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will now run until the end of October. He confirmed that there will be no changes to the scheme until the end of July. However, he warned employers to expect some adjustments from August.

At the moment, all we know about these changes is that from August furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time and employers will be asked to contribute a percentage towards the cost of the salaries of their furloughed staff.

Other than that, until the end of October furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of their salary and the scheme will apply to all sectors of the economy.

We can expect to hear further detail on the changes due to come in from August before the end of this month.

For further advice on managing the return to work and re-opening your workplace please read our article on the road back to work.