The Government announced further details on the flexible furlough on 12th June as part of the changes in guidance to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS) which will take effect from 1st July 2020.
The guidance is designed to support businesses in bringing back employees who have been furloughed to enable them to work in a more flexible or part-time way, especially with businesses getting back on their feet and many employees having children still off school or other caring responsibilities. However, the flexible furlough rules are quite complex and can be confusing for businesses who are looking to implement the new guidelines.
From 1st July, flexible furlough means that employees can work part of their ‘usual’ contracted hours, but be furloughed for the remainder, as agreed with their employers. This could be more complicated in instances where employees work variable hours and therefore have a variable salary. The employees must, however, have been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks after 1st March and before 30th June. The minimum claim period under the second phase of the CJRS will be 7 days.
The amount of wages that will be covered initially continues to be 80% with a cap of £2500, but from August employers will need to cover National Insurance and pension contributions. From September the Government’s support will reduce to 70% with a cap of £2,187.50, and the employer will need to pay 10% of the salary up to the £2500 cap. From October employer contributions will increase to 20% and the Government support falls to 60% until the scheme closes at the end of October.
Employers will need to keep detailed records of the employees who have been furloughed, and those who are being moved to flexible furlough as well as their new working pattern and furloughed hours. This is important in order to support your furlough claims, especially where employees may be required to work or be furloughed different hours each week.
The flexible furlough scheme can be a minefield for employers looking to restart their business or bring back previously furloughed employees. Hibberts can offer support to organisations to help them navigate the complexities of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Please contact our team here to find out more.