Following on from our recent article on the furlough scheme changes, further information has now been provided with regards to flexible furlough. Until now, employees were not permitted to carry out any work for their employers, however from the 1st July, under the flexible furlough scheme, employees can work under a part-time arrangement agreed between the employer and employee. Under the scheme, employees will be paid their normal wage for working hours, whilst the employer can still apply for the furlough grant for the remainder of their usual working hours. Both the grant and the cap (applicable at the time of the claim) will be reduced in proportion to the number of hours worked. Eg, In July, an employee remains furloughed for 30% of their usual hours, the employer would be able to claim the grant for up to 30% of the £2,500 cap.
There are various calculations to work out your employee’s usual working hours, depending on whether they are fixed or variable and the guidance note containing worked examples is helpful.
Some key points of the new scheme include:
- The old furlough scheme is closed to new entrants from 1st July 2020 (with the exception of parents returning from statutory family leave).
- To be eligible for flexible furlough, employees must have had 3 weeks of furlough leave prior to 30th June 2020. From the 1st July, the minimum three week period of furlough has been removed.
- Restrictions on the number of employees you can claim for in any claim period from 1st July cannot exceed the maximum number of employees claimed for under any claim period ending by 30th June 2020.
- Claims must be for a minimum period of one week and can no longer overlap different months.
- For pay periods starting on or after 1st August 2020, employer’s will no longer be able to claim for employer NI contributions.
- If an employee is flexibly furloughed for July 2020, the employer can claim for the auto enrolment pension contributions payable on the gross pay grant for the hours that the employee is furloughed.
- From 1st August 2020, the auto enrolment contributions can no longer be claimed for.
With so many different employee scenarios and calculations to consider when working out flexible furlough, it is essential that the updated guidance is referred to before claiming. Unfortunately, some of the updates have been incorporated into the existing guidance but we have listed below all the appropriate links.
If you have any questions regarding the furlough scheme, redundancy or other employment query, please contact Lisa Aitken on 07960 469988 for free initial advice or email: LisaA@moore-tibbits.co.uk.