With many staff now unable to work, government guidelines require employers to issue a contractual variation to staff to confirm agreement to be furloughed – employees who are temporarily unable to work due to coronavirus. This enables employers to apply to the government to pay 80% of their staffs’ wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500 for at least four months through its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, a temporary scheme open to all UK employers starting from 1 March 2020.
Ben Eliott, CEO and founder of Cambridge based Legalesign, said, ‘This is a very anxious time for business and we have decided to offer our digital technology for free to employers who are having to furlough staff. It works really quickly and easily and only requires an email, name and furlough date to get the document prepared and sent in a few seconds. It can be signed within a minute, then certified and automatically stored for the requisite five years. It really couldn’t be easier.
‘Having seen how people in the country are rallying round to support each other, we wanted to do our bit too.’
APSCo, an international trade body that represents the professional recruitment sectors and providers that support it, has created two model furlough agreements for its 1,000 members – one for full time employees who are on a PAYE scheme, and another for agency staff. Legalesign, an affiliate member, is providing the e-signature software for the agreements, enabling them to be signed simply, swiftly and securely by both employer and employee from their homes.
Ben added, ‘APSCo should be commended for the fantastic support they are giving its members by providing these two agreements and we are delighted to support this fantastic initiative during such a worrying time for business.’
Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel at APSCo, said they have been swamped with concerns raised by members about the furlough scheme, and it is hoped that their model agreements, and the way they can be speedily agreed and signed with Legalesign, will help ease some of their members’ concerns.
She said, ‘While we are living through unprecedented times, APSCo’s commitment, as always, is to use the services of our affiliate members where possible, and this is a great opportunity for us to utilise the expertise of Legalesign’s electronic signature to benefit our members. It is greatly appreciated right now as the document couldn’t be easier to sign from people’s home, avoiding the need to download paper or scan pages.’
Legalesign’s electronic signature software is used by legal firms, insurance companies, property firms, recruiters, accountants, local government and government bodies. Legalesign is currently ranked joint leader as the UK’s provider of electronic signature in the latest quarterly figures from G2, the leading global comparison site for software and services.