Flexible Furlough

What we know so far

On 29 May 2020, the Chancellor announced changes to the operation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The changes give employers the option of agreeing with furloughed employees that they will return to work on a part-time basis, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown is eased and funding under the scheme is gradually withdrawn.

Below is our guidance relating to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, an outline of what the scheme is about, and how you can submit your claim.

  • The scheme will close to anyone who hasn’t been furloughed for 3 weeks by 30th June.
  • So, if you intend to furlough an employee who hasn’t been furloughed before, you will need to agree that with them and start their period of furlough on or before 10 J‌un‌e – this is the last day on which someone who has never been furloughed before can start a period of furlough and qualify for the scheme 
  • From 1 July 2020, the rules of the scheme are changing. You you will have greater flexibility to bring a previously furloughed employee back to work on a part time basis. You can decide the hours or work to suit your business needs. You will be responsible for paying the employee’s wages for the hours they work and you can continue to make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cover the hours the employee does not work whilst still furloughed.
  • Please remember, for all claim starting on or after 1st July, the maximum number of employees you can claim for in any period cannot be higher than the maximum number you have claimed for in a previous period. For example, if your highest single claim for periods up to 30 June was for 100 people, you can’t claim for more than this number in later periods.
  • On 12th June, the Government will publish full guidance on all the scheme changes (watch this space!)
  • From 1 August 2020, the scheme will continue to cover 80% of employees’ wages (for the hours they do not work), up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, but you will be responsible for paying the employer NICs and employer pension contributions.
  • From 1 September 2020, the scheme will cover 70% of employees’ wages (for the hours they do not work), up to a maximum of £2,187.50. As a minimum, you must pay 10% of the employee’s wages, so the employee continues to receive 80% of their normal wages, up to the maximum of £2,500.
  • From 1 October 2020, the scheme will cover 60% of employees’ wages (for the hours they do not work), up to a maximum of £1,875. As a minimum, you must pay 20% of the employee’s wages.

The scheme will remain open until the end of October 2020.

Process

The process remains unchanged since the Scheme was announced back in March 2020, you must remember to discuss any changes to contracts of employment, including placing employees on Furlough Leave with the employee and to gain their signed agreement.

  • You do not have to furlough all employees, but those who are furloughed must not undertake any work for you.
  • To claim the subsidy, employers need to write to employees confirming they have been furloughed and keep a record of the communication for 5 years.
  • When making decisions relating to furlough, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.

If you would like help furloughing or un-furloughing your employees or if you wish to discuss how to change your employees terms and conditions of employee, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.

Further Information

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