EMPLOYERS are facing tough decisions over redundancies as they consider what furlough changes will mean for their businesses.

The government’s furlough scheme becomes more flexible today. But for many business owners the increased contributions they need to make to the scheme from August 1 are concerning.

Joanne Stronach, Head of Employment Law at Cumbrian legal firm Cartmell Shepherd, says the prospect of having to make redundancies is real for many businesses.

She said: "Businesses who are thinking they may not be able to bring their staff back are having to think now in terms of redundancies. I advise some large multi-million pound businesses. Some will be looking at proposing 20 redundancies or more which means they will need to go into a 30-day collective consultation period and will be consulting with individuals and with unions."

From August 1, employers have to start contributing to the payments for furloughed employees for National Insurance contributions and employer pension contributions.

From September 1, employers will also have to pay 10% towards an employee’s wages as well as National Insurance contributions and pension contributions.

The amount rises to 20 per cent from October 1.

From November 1, the government’s furlough scheme is likely to stop altogether.