What does flexible furloughing mean?

Updated: Jun 6

From 1 July 2020, businesses will have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis – with the Government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of their normal hours they do not work up until the end of August.

Businesses can decide the hours and shift patterns that their employees will work upon their return and will be responsible for paying their wages in full while working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as your business needs, with no minimum time that you can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement that you agree with your employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing.

When claiming the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant for furloughed hours, you will report and claim for a minimum period of a week. Businesses can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two-weekly cycles if this is more appropriate.

You will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period as well as actual hours worked.

If your employees are unable to return to work, or you do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and you can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

Employer contributions

Moving forward, the government grant will be tapered as follows:

  • For June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER’s NICs) and pension contributions for the hours the employee does not work – employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work.

  • In August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 but employers will pay ER’s NIC’s and pension contributions.

  • From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500.

  • For the final month of the scheme in October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500.

The cap on the furlough grant will be proportional to the hours not worked.

Important dates

It is important to note that the scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, you will only be able to furlough employees that you have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June.

This means that the final date that you can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

Guidance and support

Further support on how to calculate claims with the extra flexibility will be made available by the Government by the 12 June and we will keep you informed about the detail and your written requirements in due course. If you have any questions, please contact us.


Learn about the new furlough scheme

Pink is hosting an hour-long interactive webinar about the updates to the furlough scheme on Tuesday 16th June between 14:00 and 15:00 GMT. If you are unable to attend the live webinar, you can also register here in order to receive the slides and a copy of the session.

Furlough, flexible furlough & managing your payroll webinar

16 June 2020 at 14:00 GMT

Free Registration

Click here to register now

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