Law Society Issue Furlough Guidance

The Law Society of England and Wales has published fresh guidance helping firms looking into utilising the government’s Job Retention Scheme by furloughing their staff.

In recent weeks, many conveyancing departments have seen new instructions and agreed sales decline by as much as 70 per cent, with further falls expected in the weeks ahead.

The government’s social distancing measures have effectively stalled the property sector and many law firms are facing the unenviable decision of protecting the business by temporarily reducing their wage bill until restrictions are lifted and the market can resume.

UK businesses are being forced to furlough their staff on unprecedented scales with decisions having a huge impact on their staff.

The Law Society’s guidance explains the scheme, highlights who is eligible, offers advice on how to claim a grant, as well as talking through the legal implications of choosing who to furlough and what is considered best practice such as getting agreement from workers.

Law Society president, Simon Davis, 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.

“It is of the utmost importance to society, the rule of law and our economy that the legal sector is able to survive this crisis – and we will be doing everything within our power to ensure it.”

The link to Law Society guidance on furloughing employees can be found here.

Has your law firm furloughed staff until the restrictions are lifted? Are you on furlough and how did you and your firm reach the decision?

1 Comment

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    I was off sick prior to lockdown. My doctor issued a new sick note to explain in line with Government Guidelines I am exceptionally high risk due to medication and need to stay home in total lockdown for 12 weeks. When contacting my employers to see if furloughed is a possibility (could I work from home, can they get the 80% non repayable by them for me) etc. Sadly there was no discussion and I was told I will receive SSP during the whole time. Deeply saddened that my employers did not consider any work options but instead just said a flat no! I am a Trainee Fee Earner. Thankfully the University that I am doing my CLC through have been exceptionally supportive and offered an extension on my course and extra training materials as a lot of mine is at work.

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