The current furlough scheme has closed as of 30th June 2020. The new scheme is called flexible furlough.
From the 1st August the Government announced that employers can bring staff back to work if they believe it is COVID-19 safe. This means that employers are now able to bring staff who have been furloughed back to work on a part-time basis, staff can be brought back to work for any amount of time, and on any work pattern, this includes shift work.
Employees can be furloughed on or after 1 July and return to work on a part time or ad hoc basis if:
- The employers had successfully claimed a previous government grant for a period of at least three consecutive weeks in the period from 1 March – 30 June 2020 for the employee; or
- They returned from statutory parental leave after 10 June 2020
The first step for employers to undertake is to agree the working arrangements between themselves and the staff and then to confirm this in writing and kept as a record for a period of five years.
Employers will pay staff for the hours worked and be able to claim through the CJRS for the non-working time if they decide to take staff back on a part time basis or a phased return.
Furthermore, there will no longer be a three-week minimum claim period for furloughed staff, this has changed to a minimum of one week.
Employers should also be aware that from the 1st August 2020 the level of the Government grant will start to reduce.
The progression of Furlough Claims
- 31st July 2020 – This will be the final date for employers to make claims for the period up to and including 30th of July.
- 1st August 2020 – The CJRS will no longer fund any employer on-costs. Employers will be required to pay all employer NIC and Pension costs. However, can still claim 80% of wage costs up to the monthly maximum of £2500.
- 1st September 2020 – For the hours the employee does not work, the CJRS will fund 70% of wages only, up to a monthly maximum of £2187.50. Employers will be required to contribute 10%, to make up the shortfall to 80%, up to a maximum of £2500 per month, as well as all employer on-costs for NIC and Pension.
- 1st October 2020 – For the hours the employee does not work, the CJRS will fund 60% of wages only, up to a monthly cap of £1875. Employer’s will be required to contribute 20%, to make up the shortfall to 80%, up to a maximum of £2500 per month, as well as all employer on-costs for NIC and Pension.
Considerations for employers
Claims can be made from the new scheme from the 1st July:
- Claim periods must begin and end in the same month (e.g. a single claim cannot be made for August and September);
- Employers will therefore need to take account of pay periods which do not exactly correspond to the end of a calendar month;
- The government has also announced that businesses who no longer need the CJRS grants they previously claimed have the option to voluntarily return them.
At Optimal Solicitors we will be happy to assist you in any way we can, please contact us on 0161 250 7771.