As businesses continue to navigate the financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are turning to the government’s flexible furlough scheme to help them manage their workforce. The scheme allows employers to bring back employees who were furloughed under the original scheme, but on a part-time basis, while still being able to claim government support for the hours that their employees are not working.

To take advantage of the scheme, employers need to agree on a flexible furlough agreement with their employees. While there is no specific template provided by the government, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has created a flexible furlough agreement template that can be used by employers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations and protecting the rights of their employees.

The CIPD’s template covers all of the essential elements of a flexible furlough agreement, including the employee’s new working pattern, the number of hours they will work each week, the days they will work, and the dates on which they will receive their pay. The template also includes clauses that cover issues such as annual leave, sickness absence, and termination of employment.

Using a template like the one provided by the CIPD can save time and reduce the risk of errors and omissions. It also ensures that the agreement is legally compliant and protects the rights of both the employer and the employee. However, it is important to note that the template should be adapted to suit the specific circumstances of each individual case. For example, the template provides a standard approach to calculating pay, but this may need to be adjusted if there are unusual pay arrangements in place.

Employers should also make sure that their employees understand the terms of the agreement and that they have had the opportunity to ask any questions or seek clarification. Communication is key to ensuring that the arrangement runs smoothly and that everyone is clear on their responsibilities.

In conclusion, the CIPD’s flexible furlough agreement template is a useful tool for employers who are considering using the government’s flexible furlough scheme. By following this template, employers can ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations, protecting the rights of their employees, and reducing the risk of errors and omissions. However, it is important to remember that the template should be adapted to suit individual circumstances, and that clear communication is essential to the success of the arrangement.