Please Note: All information correct at time of writing on 1 June 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check out our latest articles and to check the government website for updates as they happen.
On Friday 29 May, Chancellor Rishi Sunak led the government’s daily press briefing on their continued measures to tackle the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on public life and the UK economy.
As expected, Sunak used this opportunity to unveil the government’s plans for the future of the furlough scheme.
The government are introducing a new flexible furlough which they see as key to kick-starting the economy. This will start from 1 July and it will give employers the flexibility to decide the best arrangements for them and their staff. The Chancellor gave an example of how this will work:
Employee A works five days a week. Their employer decides to bring them back for two days a week. The employer will pay them normal pay for those two days and they will be paid furlough pay (at the usual 80%) for the remaining three days.
Following the Chancellors announcement on Friday evening, on the morning of Saturday 30 May HMRC revised its CJRS guidance to clarify how the scheme is changing.
The scheme is closing to new entrants from 30 June. After that date, the guidance states, "you will only be able to furlough employees that have been furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June."
On a strict reading of this wording, this does not require the employee to be on furlough immediately before 30 June and if the employee has served a three week furlough period at some point prior to this date, they should be eligible under the flexible furlough scheme.
This interpretation seems to be supported by the fact that the guidance goes on to say "the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current 3 week furlough period to be completed by 30 June.”
The guidance states that under the flexible scheme, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week (rather than the current 3-week period).
Employers will have until 31 July to submit claims for the period up to 30 June.
Further guidance on how the flexible furlough scheme will operate and how employer’s should calculate claims will be published on 12 June. Keep an eye on our latest articles to find out our latest guidance on the government’s updates.
These are challenging times, especially for employees, business owners and employers. Our team of HR and Employment Law experts provide you with the latest government news to help you work through this difficult period.
If you’re not yet a client of ours and you want the advice and backing of a team of HR and Employment Law experts feel free to give our team a call on 0345 844 1111 to talk through your business needs. Or, simply fill out your details in the form opposite and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.
Get more information