Full details of the flexible furlough scheme: the need-to-know for mobility and access bosses
Following chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would be extended until the end of the October and a flexible element would be introduced from 1st July, the government has now released full details of how the scheme will work.
Having helped over one million employers protect the jobs of over eight million workers across the UK, the government’s furlough scheme has proved invaluable for preventing mass unemployment.
According to a new factsheet released by the government, the total value of claims made as of midnight on 24th May was £15 billion.
With the scheme set to gradually wind down over the summer and autumn, the government has now provided more details relating to one of the key aspects of the revised furlough scheme – flexibility.
How does flexible furlough work?
From 1st July, employers will be able to agree on any working arrangements with previously furloughed employees and can bring them back for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for their normal hours not worked.
When claiming the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. According to the government, this is a minimum period and those making claims for longer periods – such as those on monthly or two weekly cycles – will be able to do so.
To be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant, the government says employers must agree with their employee any new flexible furloughing arrangement and confirm that agreement in writing.
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, with the government promising further details will be included in future guidance.
Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period. 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.
More guidance relating to how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12th June.
10th of June is the final cut-off date to furlough staff
Importantly, the scheme will close to new entrants from 30th June, however, tomorrow (10th of June) is the final cut-off date for employers to furlough workers, as employers will only able to furlough employees that have been furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June.
Employers will have until the 31st July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.
From the 1st July, the scheme will only be available to employers that have previously used the scheme in respect of employees they have previously furloughed.
Also, from 1st July, claim periods will no longer be able to overlap months. This means that employers who previously submitted claims with periods that overlapped calendar months will no longer be able to do this going forward. According to the government, this is necessary to reflect the forthcoming changes to the scheme.
In addition, 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 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Employers can, however, continue to make claims in anticipation of an imminent payroll run, at the point payroll is run or after payroll has been run.
Companies will be able to make their first claim under the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme scheme from the 1st of July.
Costs to companies
From August 2020, companies will be required to contribute to the scheme, with the government highlighting that “the level of the grant will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work.”https://thiis.co.uk/full-details-of-the-flexible-furlough-scheme-the-need-to-know-for-mobility-and-access-bosses/https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Redundancies-and-furloughing-throughout-coronavirus.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Redundancies-and-furloughing-throughout-coronavirus.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Business SupportCoronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsCOVID-19 Trade NewsGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomRetailer NewsSector NewsSupplier NewsTrade NewsRishi SunakFollowing chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would be extended until the end of the October and a flexible element would be introduced from 1st July, the government has now released full details of how the scheme will work.Having helped over one million employers protect...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine