We have had a number of enquiries about whether you can re-employ employees and put them on furlough. The government’s recent announcement says yes, subject to conditions:
“Employees re-employed by their employer
Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
Similarly, an employee who was on a fixed term contract, on payroll on 23 September, and that contract expired after 23 September can be re-employed and claimed for, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met”.
Note, however, that where the employee’s employment had ended for more than a week (Sunday to Saturday), their continuity of employment will be broken, so their employment will start afresh. This means they will not be protected against unfair dismissal or eligible for a statutory redundancy payment until they have worked for another two years. It would be wise to enter into a new contract of employment confirming their start date and that no previous employment counts towards their continuity of employment.