It is important that you establish good record keeping during furlough of your decisions and actions during the Coronavirus situation – we suggest documenting this now while it is fresh in your mind in case you ever need it later on. One key essential point is highlighted below.
- Sick pay / SSP – keep a record of anyone who you deemed eligible for day one SSP (Covid-19 related) including copies of any FIT or isolation notes as you may need this to claim back the 14 days SSP once this becomes available
- Shielding – you don’t have to request a copy of the NHS letter and can make this decision on trust but if you do get a copy of the shielding letter from an employee keep it securely and confidentially stored
- Furlough – you must have written confirmation for ALL furloughed employees (including those who are shielding) and you must keep these records for 5 years
- If you had a temporary lay of clause in your employment contracts already then you simply need confirmation that you have informed staff of the furlough arrangements – our furlough leave agreement form covers this option
- If you did not have such a clause you need explicit written agreement to being furloughed – our furlough leave agreement form covers this option too – note that a simple email response from the employee will suffice & we suggest you print the email response & file in the employee personnel file
However with regard to the first bullet point for 3 updated guideance on 15 April now says that to be eligible for the grant employers must confirm in writing to their employee confirming that they have been furloughed. A record of this communication must be kept for five years. The previous guidance we provided was right at the time.
However the Treasury Document states: An employee has been instructed by the employer to cease all work in relation to their employment and the employee have agreed in writing (which may be in an electronic form such as email) that the employee will cease allwork in relation to their employment
So please go back and ensure you have a WRITTEN AGREEMENT that explicitly states they may not carry out any work (even if just by email) with every furloughed employee.
- Furlough decisions – in case you need to defend any furlough decisions at a later date we suggest you keep a record of how you decided who to furlough and who not
- Pay records – keep a copy of your calculations of how you determined the correct pay during furlough – particularly for anyone on variable pay
- Any correspondence with employees regarding furlough or other queries relating to the coronavirus situation – for example regarding working from home / childcare / social distancing / training etc
- A record of any actions you took to assess / ensure the health safety & welfare of employees working from home
- A record of training hours (and a record of how you ensured the NMW was paid for this where applicable)
- A record of the Company / Board decision to furlough any Director / office holder
- Any documents relating to redundancies or employment terminations as you would normally
Obviously be mindful of GDPR requirements in the way that any of these records are stored as much of this will constitute sensitive personal data.