As the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) starts to draw to a close, yesterday (Tuesday 16 September) marked the last day on which employers proposing to make 100 or more redundancies from a single location could have started the collective consultation process (of 45 days) that is required when making large-scale redundancies, and complete the process before the CJRS comes to an end on 31 October 2020.  

Employers proposing slightly lower levels of redundancies from a single location (a proposed reduction of 20-99 workers) do have a little more time. The collective consultation process in this situation is required to last 30 days, and so businesses proposing this level of redundancies could start the consultation process on 1 October 2020, and still complete the process in the period covered by the furlough scheme (for which some (but not all) salary costs for furloughed workers can be claimed under the CJRS).

The Chancellor, however, has urged businesses not to make redundancies after the CJRS finishes if they do not have to, and has pledged to pay employers £1,000 for each previously-furloughed worker who remains on payroll past the end of January 2021.  Whether this will be sufficient to encourage employers to retain staff who had previously been on furlough remains to be seen.