If you had to furlough employees during tight financial times, but you can now bring them back, you will be required to file some paperwork and keep documents as you do when hiring new employees. No matter your reason for bringing back furloughed employees, you should follow the procedure below for bringing back employees in an organized and straightforward way.
Create a Return-to-Work Plan
Before you officially bring back your furloughed employees, you should create a return-to-work plan that outlines any new procedures, staff members, and employee responsibilities. Your business operations have likely shifted somewhat while your employees were furloughed, so it is essential to give everyone new updates.
Additionally, if you are not able to end the furlough for all employees, you must decide which employees you can bring back and why. You should also make sure that your budget can accommodate the return of furloughed employees.
Draft a Return from Furlough Notice
When notifying a furloughed employee of their return, you should create a written notice and send it to them. This will leave a paper trail for your notice, as well as marking when you sent it. It is also crucial to give the employee enough time to consider returning; do not send your employee notice one day before you want them to return to work. You must also include information in the notification regarding what the employee is agreeing to when they return to work. Even if some factors haven’t changed, they should be listed as well for full disclosure. Your return from furlough notice should include:
- The employment offer
- Return-to-work date
- Changes in job duties
- Employment status, i.e., how many hours they will receive
- Pay and benefits information
- New procedures, for instance, any COVID-19 safety precautions
- The employee deadline for responding to the letter
Bring Furloughed Employees Back
Your furloughed employee is not required to accept your new offer of employment, but if they decide to return, you can bring them back right away. Now you must provide them with further information on job responsibilities and add them back to payroll. If you removed the employee from any company benefits, reinstate them as appropriate, and distribute the required paperwork.
File Documents in Your Records
Whenever you take any action related to an employee, you should keep records. Depending on how long an employee was furloughed, you may need to refresh some original onboarding paperwork, and if you make changes to their pay rate, pay frequency, or employment status, you must record that change.
If you bring furloughed employees back because you received a PPP loan, you should keep documents such as:
- A copy of the return from furlough notice
- When you sent the notice
- The employee’s response to your rehire offer
- What day the employee resumed work
- Any pay-related information
If you have any further questions about rehiring furloughed employees, you can contact the Harding Group today for more guidance on running a well-managed small business.
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