Can an employee claim a statutory redundancy payment if they have been furloughed for four or more weeks?
There is a statutory scheme that allows employees who have been laid off for at least four consecutive weeks, or six weeks over a period of 13 weeks, to claim a statutory redundancy payment.
However, for the scheme to apply, the employee must have been laid off without pay, or be on short-time working and in receipt of less than 50% of a normal week's pay for the work they do. An employee who has been fully furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be in receipt of 80% of their earnings, up to £2,500 per month, (or more, if agreed with the employer) while not doing any work for the employer. Therefore, it appears that they will not be eligible to initiate the process for claiming a statutory redundancy payment. (A furloughed employee will still be eligible for a statutory redundancy payment if they are made redundant by the employer).
Where an employee works some hours under a flexible furlough arrangement, it is possible that they could be in receipt of less than 50% of their normal wages, if they are a higher earner and work only a few hours under the arrangement. However, it is less likely that a higher earner would exercise their right to claim the statutory minimum redundancy payment.