Flexible furloughing & extended furlough scheme, here is what we know right now:
- The CJRS (furlough) will remain open as planned until 31 October 2020
- Throughout the furlough scheme there will be no change in what employees can receive in furlough pay
- June and July: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything.
- August: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions. Note – don’t forget that the Employment Allowance covers NI bills for smaller employers up to the £4,000 limit.
- September: The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
- October: The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
- From July (a month earlier than previously stated) – Flexible furlough options will be available (but not mandatory). Employers will be able to have furloughed employees back for any number of days per week and pay their normal (100%) salary for those days. The employees would then remain on furlough leave for the other days of the week and receive 80% of pay (or whatever you have agreed to top up by) with the furlough pay being reclaimed by employers for furlough days set at the amounts as above depending on the month.
- The important date to know is that the furlough scheme will be closed to new entrants on 30 June so in order to use flexible furloughing, or even just to continue being fully furloughed through July to October, the employee must already have been on furlough by 10 June (i.e. for three weeks under the existing furlough scheme) before they can be included in any furlough arrangements from 1 July onwards.
When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.
Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Further details will be included in future guidance. For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.
From 1 July the scheme will only be available to employers that have previously used the scheme in respect of employees they have previously furloughed. The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June. Note – this sounds as if that means anyone you have previously furloughed at any time if you have rotated employees but we need the detail to be sure.
From 1 July, claim periods will no longer be able to overlap months, employers who previously submitted claims with periods that overlapped calendar months will no longer be able to do this going forward. This is necessary to reflect the forthcoming changes to the scheme.
The number of employees an employer can claim for in any claim period cannot exceed the maximum number they have claimed for under any previous claim under the current CJRS.
Employers can continue to make claims in anticipation of an imminent payroll run, at the point payroll is run or after payroll has been run.
Employers will be able to make their first claim under the new scheme from 1 July. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.
From 1 July, employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with previously furloughed employees. Individual firms will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, so that they can decide on the best approach for them and will be responsible for paying their wages while the employee is in work.
Employers will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.
When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week, for grants to be calculated accurately across working patterns.
To be eligible for the grant, employers must agree with their employee any new flexible furloughing arrangement and confirm that agreement in writing.
Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12 June.
Useful links for full details as we currently know them:
Employer Guidance – older guidance with a brief new update at the top stating that full new guidance will be available on 12 June
Employee Guidance – older guidance with a brief new update at the top stating that full new guidance will be available on 12 June