We believe it is clearer now that the furlough leave will initially run from March to May (may get extended) – not three months from when you start it as I had hoped – but that is my interpretation and we still await 100% confirmation – just thought it may be helpful to err on the side of caution in your plans for now at least if you haven’t put people on temporary lay-off yet

Secondly the 80% is still quite confusing!  We did briefly refer to this before but I am getting a lot of questions that suggest this is a real grey area for all of us and we need to manage our own expectations and that of our staff.  We really suggest talking to your accountant or payroll provider but the wording is such that the 80% is for all salary costs so that suggests it includes what you need to pay in employers NI & pension out of the capped £2.5 k available.  Also the 80% is capped at £2.5k but as before we don’t yet know if it is 80% of £2.5k or if the £2.5k is the capped amount of a higher salary.  Finally it isn’t clear if this is gross or net – we are assuming gross and we know that you are currently required to make the usual PAYE & pension deductions from whatever is paid.

The gov wording leaves much room for interpretation…

The Gov wording for employers is:

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

The Gov wording for employees is:

To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed. This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Finally, if you have apprentices that may need to be furloughed this Gov guidance talks you through suspending their studies and what happens with assessments https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-apprentices-employers-training-providers-end-point-assessment-organisations-and-external-quality-assurance-pro

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