How to use the letter template
This letter template is for you to send to your employer if you are being dismissed or made redundant because you wish to self isolate/stay at home. It summarises some of the legal arguments against dismissal/redundancy in the circumstances.
If you have more than two years continuous employment with your employer, you can argue that you have been unfairly dismissed and/or the redundancy situation is unfair. This is because an employer will be expected to go through a fair process despite the coronavirus crisis. This may include calling for volunteers in the first place and there should then be a process that would include pooling of affected staff and making a fair selection.
However, you do not need the two years’ service to argue that you are being subjected to what’s called ‘automatically unfair dismissal’ which is raised in the letter .
Instead of you being dismissed or made redundant, we recommend you ask your employer to extend your employment and place you on ‘furlough leave’ under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This is a temporary scheme providing for 80% of your salary up to £2,500 a month and is the solution proposed in the letter.
You should delete or insert the information indicated in the square brackets according to your individual situation. (Remember to delete the instruction and brackets afterwards.) If you want to add any other information, remember to keep it brief, to the point and factual, in order that your employer may consider your request sympathetically.
You can find more information in our website article about your employment rights during the coronavirus pandemic .
[Employer name and address]
Dear [Recipient name]
I am writing regarding your recent decision to [select and insert one of the following: dismiss me from employment/ make me redundant] due to my self isolating at home.
I propose that you extend my employment and and put me on the government’s furlough leave scheme, also known as the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. The government has offered this support to employers as a way to keep people employed during this crisis. 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.
[Only insert the following if you aree with it: I am happy to receive only 80% of my salary, so it will not cost you anything] .
To insist on dismissing me in these circumstances, and to refuse to furlough me, amounts to automatically unfair dismissal under s.100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 re Health & Safety, subsections 1(d) & (e) which state:
(d) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work, or
(e) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, he took (or proposed to take) appropriate steps to protect himself or other persons from the danger.’]
[Insert the following only if you have more than two years’ continuous service with your employer: ]
[Even under s.98 of ERA 1996, this dismissal would almost certainly be outside of the ‘range of reasonable responses’ open to an employer facing this situation.]
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.
[Your full name]