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New furlough guidance for law firms has been issued

14th April 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has left no section of UK life unchanged and this includes the legal sector. Businesses and companies up and down the country have had to resort to furloughing staff to make sure they can see things through – this includes those employed in inhouse legal jobs.

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been implemented, which aims to help businesses pay staff by directly funding 80% of an employee’s monthly wages. The scheme applies to all UK employers, regardless of size and has come as a lifeline to many.

For law firms considering the use of the government’s scheme and seeking to furlough staff, The Law Society of England and Wales has now issued its new advice. Providing information on eligibility, the process for claims, and contractual issues, the full advice can be found here.

Law Society president Simon Davis has commented: “The shock to the legal services sector has been sudden and severe. There are widespread concerns over liquidity as firms face a dramatic plunge in income with work falling away.

“The scheme will provide a lifeline for many of those firms. Our advice will help them to understand and utilise the support available. It reflects our continual work with government and others to provide the clarity and assurances that the sector needs.”

Davis finished by stressing how important it is that the legal sector is able to survive the current crisis.

The advice was issued on 8/04/2020 and, as the Law Society states in their legal disclaimer: “It is not legal advice. If you wish to use the scheme you should read all the government guidance before deciding how best to proceed.”

The government’s guidance can be found in full via the website.

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