As we know changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme were announced a few weeks ago with more detail forthcoming on the 12 June 2020. As always this was issued late at night on Friday and is probably one of the reasons why the flexible furlough scheme has become known as FFS in the HR world! So, what do we now know about how the scheme will work from 1 July 2020?
|Month||% of wage to be claimed per employee per month||Can NI/Pension Contributions be claimed?||Can a worker work during furlough?|
|June||80% (up to maximum of £2500)||Yes||No|
|July||80% (up to maximum of £2500)||Yes||Yes|
|August||80% (up to maximum of £2500)||No||Yes|
|September||70% (up to a maximum of £2190)||No||Yes|
|October||60% (up to a maximum of £1875)||No||Yes|
NB: In July you can claim NI/Pension contributions for the hours they are furloughed but not for the hours worked if you are flexible furloughing individuals.
The deadline for a new worker to be furloughed for the first time was 10 June 2020, with the exception of if someone is returning from maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoption or parental bereavement leave then they can be furloughed once they return.
The deadline for claims up to 30 June is 31 July 2020.
From 1 July workers can be on flexible furlough as long as they had previously been furloughed for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks between 1 March and 30 June 2020. However, if you have taken a worker off furlough during the mid-later part of June for a period of time but then need to place them back on furlough prior to 1 July, they will need to be furloughed for another minimum 3 week period before they can be flexible furloughed in July. This is because the current minimum period is 3 weeks up until the flexible furlough scheme starts. This isn’t ideal so if you can avoid taking individuals off of furlough this would be better, or it will delay you being able to use flexible furlough for those individuals.
If you don’t have any hours to offer the employee, they can remain furloughed at all times and you can claim back as before based on the relevant claim % per month. You can continue to claim for annual leave taken whilst on furlough through the scheme, but leave should be topped up to 100%. You can also continue to keep those on furlough who are shielding or have childcare responsibilities.
Minimum furlough periods.
From 1 July there is no longer a minimum time a worker can be flexible furloughed (so no 3-week rule).
Flexible Furlough Agreements
You need to agree flexible furlough with an individual and write to them with an agreement which you will need to retain for 5 years. Hours worked must be paid at 100% and the rest of their hours can be paid at 80%.
Claims cannot cross calendar months from 1 July and a minimum claim period is 7 calendar days.
The number of employees you can claim for in any claim period starting from 1 July 2020 cannot exceed the maximum number of employees you claimed for under any claim ending by 30 June 2020. So, if for example, you had claimed for 50 workers in April 20 in May and 30 in June, you can claim for a maximum of 50 workers under the flexible furlough scheme. The exception is where you are furloughing someone who has returned from maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity or parental bereavement leave after 10 June. They can be added in addition to your previous maximum number.
You’ll need all of the details you needed before to make a claim, plus:
- the number of usual hours your employee would work in the claim period
- the number of hours your employee has or will work in the claim period
- you will also need to keep a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period.
Claim information should be retained for 6 years.
Guidance for how to work out the % of pay you are claiming has not changed. To work out an individual’s usual hours and furloughed hours to claim for those with fixed hours/pay you need to take the number of hours worked in the pay period prior to 19 March 2020. For those with variable hours/pay you take the higher of the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019 to 2020 or the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
For more information you can see all of the relevant documents here:
UPDATED: Changes to the CJRS
UPDATED: Claim for wages through the CJRS
UPDATED: Report a payment in PAYE RTI