UPDATE: Important changes to the Government Furlough Scheme

Important updates to the governments furlough scheme

The Government has published their updated guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Whilst the majority of the scheme remains the same as when the furlough scheme was first announced, there are some important changes to the scheme as follows:

  • Any eligible employee can be furloughed regardless of whether they have been furloughed previously. The scheme allows for any employee working under any form of employment contract to be eligible. The employee must have either been on payroll on 30 October 2020 or been made redundant on or after 23 September. In the case of the latter, an employee can be re-employed and put on furlough. Please double check with us if you are considering placing someone on furlough leave and you are unsure if they are eligible or if you are considering re-employing an employee.
  • The Government have increased the amount you can claim (reverting back to when the furlough scheme first started). You can now claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. You are still currently required to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions, but this is being reviewed in January 2020.
  • The Government is allowing you to retrospectively furlough an employee with effect from 1 November 2020, provided this is done before this Friday, 13 November 2020.
  • You can choose to full furlough an employee or flexibly furlough them and the previous rules applying to flexible furlough will apply.

Reminders

As before, you will need to ensure any changes to an employee’s furlough status are made in writing or, if you are placing someone on furlough leave, you need to ensure this is in writing and agreed by the employee as you are varying the terms of their contract.

If an employee is on furlough leave, they cannot undertake any work for you for the period they are on furlough leave. They can take part in training, volunteer for another organisation, or work for another employer (provided this is allowed in their employment contract).

UPDATED: Notice periods

The Government have amended their guidance to confirm that, from 1 December 2020, employers will not be able to claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for employees serving their contractual or statutory notice periods. If you are intending on dismissing an employee, please do not hesitate to contact us for further assistance.

Job Retention Bonus

Employers looking forward to receiving the Job Retention Bonus will not receive this in February 2020 due to the extension of furlough leave. The Government have suggested they may review this again after the extended furlough period ends.

Final IMPORTANT note

HMRC are going to start publishing names for companies or LLPs that are still making claims under the furlough scheme from December onwards. This is really important for all businesses who are seeking to utilise the scheme as they should be aware that their names will be published.

The Backhouse Solicitors Team

If you have any queries about any of the latest updates please contact us. We are open for calls and pre-booked face to face appointments following all Covid-19 rules.

Tel: 01245 893400
Email: [email protected]
Visit: 17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1JU (Currently only for pre-booked appointments)

Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website