New guidance for construction companies on returning furloughed staff to work

New guidance for construction companies on returning furloughed staff to work

Fiona Harper

The Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum has published guidance for Scotland’s construction companies on how to safely bring workers off furlough and back to work.

The comprehensive 22-page document, Returning from Furlough, provides a practical step-by-step overview of how employers should bring workers back to full employment.

Fiona Harper, director of employment and skills at 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 latest guidance covers a wide range of issues and examines subjects such as the timeline for bringing furlough to an end; when it can be ended; the steps to keep furloughed workers safe; measures to ‘unfurlough’ workers; ‘unfurloughing’ and ‘re-furloughing’; potential refusal to return; and mental health of staff.

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

Vaughan Hart, managing director of Forum member the Scottish Building Federation and chair of the Forum employment sub-group, said: “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.”

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