FURLOUGH Changes Ahead
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1 November 2020
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which was due to end on 31 October, will now be extended, with the UK government paying 80% of wages for the hours furloughed employees do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 for periods from 1 November.
Employers will need to pay all employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions. They can choose to top up their furloughed employees’ wages beyond the 80% paid by the UK government for hours not worked, but they are not required to do so.
There will be no gap in support between the previously announced end date of CJRS and this extension.
How will it work?
You will have flexibility to ask your employees to work on a part-time basis and furlough them for the rest of their usual working hours, or furlough them full-time. You will have to cover their wages for any hours they work as well as all employer National Insurance and employer pension contributions.
You or your clients will be able to claim either shortly before, during or after running your payroll. There will be a short period initially when the online claims service will be closed while we update the system, and you will be able to claim in arrears for that period.
Further details will be provided in the next few days.
How to check if your employees are eligible
Employers can claim for employees who were on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. You must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
If employees were on an employers’ payroll on 23 September 2020 (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23 September) and were made redundant or stopped working for them afterwards, they can also qualify for the scheme if they re-employ them.
Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS. Further details on eligibility will be provided in the next few days.
What you need to do now
This is a reminder that you can start to flexibly furlough eligible employees from 1 July onwards.
From 1 July, you can claim a more flexible grant for any employee you have previously received a CJRS grant for, and who now returns to work on reduced hours. You can also continue to claim for employees who stay fully furloughed.
What you need to do next
AUGUST 2020 : Employer will still be able to claim the lower of 80% of staff wages or £2,500 a month BUT from 1 August employers will pay for their own pension contributions and National Insurance contributions ( the employer share).
SEPTEMBER 2020: reducing the furlough to the lower of 70% or £2,187.50 a month in September
OCTOBER 2020: further reducing the furlough to the lower of 60% or £1,875 in October, with the scheme closing on 31st October.
1. Eligibility for flexible furlough
From 1 July 2020 only employees that have been furloughed previously can be furloughed from 1 July 2020 onward.
2. Procedure for flexible furlough
The employer should discuss with employees ; specifying which hours they will be expected to work.
The agreement should be confirmed in writing and retained for five years.
3. Records Keeping
Employers have to keep records of the number of hours their employees work and the number of hours that they are furloughed during flexible furlough. We suggest you keep a weekly/ monthly record sheet/ spread sheet.
4. Maximum period of flexible furlough
The period that employers claim for must be for a minimum period of seven calendar days and there is no maximum other than the £2,500 cap. The agreement can be varied to agree a revised split.
The furlough scheme will allow employers to recover the remainder of pay to a maximum cap. Wage caps are proportional to the hours an employee is furloughed. So for example, an employee is entitled to 40% of the £2,500 cap if they are placed on furlough for 40% of their usual hours. Hence, the employer can recover a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500x 40% ).
The amount that the scheme will cover will be reduced from September 2020 as described above.
6. Calculating working hours
There are two different method that can be used to work out the employees’ usual hours, depending on whether they work fixed or variable hours.
FIXED hours : Where the employee’s working hours are fixed the reference period for calculating their hours is the hours they were contracted to work at the end of the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020. This is before the Covid-19 furlough announcement was made.
VARIABLE hours : Where an employee works variable hours then we will use the higher of:
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