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Flexible Furlough.

Workers will be able to return to work on a flexible, part time basis from 1st July 2020 to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.

Employees will still be entitled to receive 80 percent of their reference pay (subject to a cap of £2,500 per month) for non-working time (pro-rated against any working hours). From 1st August the financial support from the Treasury will be phased down, with employers meeting the shortfall. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

In brief the detail are: 

• From 1 July the employer must bear the contractual salary costs of any part time hours worked by a furloughed employee. They must also bear the costs of the associated employer’s NIC and minimum pension contributions;

• From 1 August employers cannot claim a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant in respect of any employer’s NIC or pension contributions;

• From 1 September the grant will fall to 70 percent of reference salary, subject to a monthly cap of £2,187.50; and

• From 1 October the grant will fall to 60 percent of reference salary, subject to a monthly cap of £1,875.

HMRC have now released detailed guidance on how claims can be made for periods from 1 July. The calculation methodology is complex and will require employers to obtain data on working hours for those employees returning to work part time. Some employers may not have this data available for all employees. 

As of 12 June 2020, the CJRS guidance is far more complex, now totalling nine pieces of guidance for the employer, there are two new pieces of guidance and six pieces of the existing guidance have been amended. Only one piece of the existing guidance is unchanged from the first version of the scheme.

However, the main features of the new scheme remain as outlined by the Chancellor on 29 May.

HMRC’s new guidance sets out how claims should be calculated for furloughed workers from 1 July 2020, including those who return to work part time. These calculations are based on the hours the worker would ‘usually’ work in the claim period. There are different rules for employees who normally work fixed hours, and those who work variable hours.

Employees can be furloughed on or after 1 July and return to work on a flexible part time basis if they:

• Had already been furloughed for a period of at least three consecutive weeks in the period from 1 March – 30 June 2020; or

• Returned from statutory parental leave after 10 June (this has been added since the announcement on 29 May).

From the 1st Juy there will be no minimum furlough period this flexibility however could complicate the relevant calculations and claims.

Claims for periods ending on or before 30 June must be submitted by 31 July. This is an important point as there have been no claim deadlines until now.

Claims can be made under the new scheme from 1 July.

Important points:

• Although furlough can be any length of time, a new minimum claim period of one week will apply.

• Special rules will allow claims to be made for periods of less than one week at the start and end of the month if these would otherwise be outside a claim.

• Claim periods must begin and end in the same month.

• Employers will therefore need to pro rate claims to take account of pay periods which do not exactly correspond to the end of a calendar month;

• The number of employees that can be included in a single claim from 1 July cannot exceed the highest number of employees included in any one claim submitted under the scheme for periods up to 30 June.

• This limit, however, does not include any employees who have returned from statutory parental leave and been furloughed for the first time in that claim period.

For part time workers returning to work Employers will need to record:

• The ‘usual hours’ the employee would otherwise have worked in that claim period

• Part time hours worked.

• Furloughed hours.

More information

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