Guidance on sending the letter
The letter below has been written for you to send to your employer if you have been dismissed or made redundant due to lack of work caused by the coronavirus situation.
If you have more than two years of service, you can argue that you have been unfairly dismissed and the redundancy situation is unfair. This is because despite the crisis an employer will be expected to go through a fair process. This may include calling for volunteers in the first place. There should then be a process that would include pooling of affected staff and making a fair selection.
If you have been employed for less than 2 years, you would not be eligible to make a claim for unfair dismissal, but:
In either of the above two scenarios, however, you can ask your employer to extend your employment whilst they wait for the government to implement their Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as outlined in the template letter below.
This letter is for you to amend where indicated in [square brackets] to suit your personal circumstances. Try to keep any amendments factual, brief and to the point.
There is more information in our article about your employment rights during the coronavirus pandemic
[Letter heading with your name and address]
[Name and address of employer]
Dear [Employer name]
I am writing regarding your recent decision to [insert one of the following: dismiss me from employment / make me redundant.]
[Insert the following if you have been employed for less than 2 years: I don’t think this requirement is fair or consistent with the terms of my contract of employment. I am ready, willing and able to work and so I am entitled to be paid as a matter of law.] OR:
[Insert the following if you have been employed for more than 2 years: To insist on dismissing me in these circumstances, and refuse to furlough me, amounts to unfair dismissal, and I would have an actionable claim in the employment tribunal. This dismissal would be outside of the range of reasonable responses open to an employer facing this situation.]
As an alternative I propose that you put me on the government’s furlough leave scheme, also known as the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. This is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers ‘whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).’
There is no doubt that your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus, therefore the scheme is for you.Under this scheme the government will reimburse you 80% of my salary up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You can apply through the HMRC website.
I am happy to receive only 80% of my salary, so it will not cost you anything.
We are going through unprecedented times, but I think the government scheme could provide a solution. I am keen to reach an agreement with you that works for both of us rather than just insist on my rights but we do need to agree it, and it does need to be fair.