How To Successfully Reintegrate Employees Returning From Furlough

Posted by Chris Ringham on Jun 22, 2021 3:32:00 PM


The furlough scheme has sought to keep millions in employment by offering government subsidised wages, meaning many have continued getting paid even though Covid fallout has disrupted their everyday working lives. The furlough program has helped protect jobs, but how can you successfully bring employees on furlough back into your regular business?

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Why Does It Even Matter?

You may wonder what the issue even is. The fact is that for many, they have not been directly at work for so long that the prospect of returning can cause potential issues. Difficulties with getting back into the flow of work responsibilities, understanding new job responsibilities, and the prospect of socialising after such a long period can all present roadblocks. This is why developing and mapping out a strategy for successful reintegration is so essential.

What Can You Do To Help?

Here are some key ideas that can help employees that have been furloughed to transition back to regular work smoothly.

Communicate - discuss frankly with employees what their worries, concerns, and fears may be, then directly address them

Explain - provide clear instructions of any changes, either to working practices, safety regulations, or positional responsibilities

Retrain - offer the option for employees to refresh their skills, to provide a valuable performance and confidence boost

Reassure - clearly state you understand that returning can be a stressful prospect and that you're there to provide ongoing support

Teambuilding - cultivate the development of a new team atmosphere, either with group activities or after-work socialising

Use The Flexible Furlough To Your Advantage

The flexible furlough scheme exists to make reintegration back to "normal" working practices that much simpler. What is a flexible furlough? It's a furlough on your own terms. You decide with your employee a working pattern that works for both of you, and you're able to furlough them for any remaining contractual hours. This essentially means you can bring employees back in on a limited basis to reintroduce them back into the workplace gradually.

It can be much more effective than pulling employees straight out of home-working and back into the workplace. This allows you to address ongoing concerns more effectively and make the process much smoother for yourself and your employees.

For further advice on the successful integration of furloughed employees back to work and making sure you're keeping to the letter of developing legislative requirements relating to employment, get in touch with Bowsers Solicitors today.

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Topics: Employment Law