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Flexible Furlough Scheme for Flexible Working

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The Government has now issued new guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) as part of their plans to phase out the furlough scheme.

How is the furlough scheme changing?

The updated Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)  will come into force on 1st July 2020 and will only apply to employees who have previously been furloughed for a minimum of three weeks, by their employers. Employees who were not furloughed before the 10th June 2020 are no longer eligible to be part of the furlough scheme, except where they have returned from maternity, paternity, parental leave, adoption or bereavement leave and the employer has taken advantage of the furlough scheme for other staff.

Government tapers support from August

From 1st July 2020 employers will be able to introduce the flexible furlough scheme to allow flexible working within a company, which could include part time working. The minimum three week rule which has been in place will no longer apply meaning that flexible terms can last for any length of time from the 1st July 2020 until the end of the scheme on 31st October 2020. However, the employer will need to keep a new written agreement regarding the flexible furlough arrangements with its employees. The new guidance also confirms that employers will need to pay its employees in full for the days they work and CJRS grants will be available for the remaining contracted hours not worked.

The guidance update also outlined changes to the scheme in the subsequent months too. The chart below shows the sliding scale of employer/CJRS contributions from August to October.

Employees returning from leave

As detailed above employees returning from maternity, paternity, adoption, parental leave or parental bereavement leave won’t miss out.  The updated scheme recognises that businesses may have staff returning from such leave and who will be eligible for the furlough scheme, even if they weren’t furloughed before 10th June.  The guidance indicates that this applies as long as their employer has used the furlough scheme for other members of staff by that date.

Government Guide for Employers

The table shows Government contribution, required employer contribution and the amount the employee will receive where the employee is furloughed 100% of the time.

  Jul Aug Sept Oct
Government contributions:
Employer NI & pension
contributions
Yes No No No
Government contributions:
Wages
80% up to
£2,500
80% up to
£2,500
70% up to
£2,187.50
60% up to
£1,875
Employer Contributions:
Employer NI & pension
contributions
No Yes Yes Yes
Employer Contribution:
Wages
- - 10% up to
£312.50
20% up to
£625
Employee receives 80% up to
£2,500 pm
80% up to
£2,500 pm
80% up to
£2,500 pm
80% up to
£2,500 pm

Data Source: www.gov.uk - changes to the coronavirus job retention scheme

Head of Employment Susan Mayall at Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers says, “The flexible furlough scheme from 1st July 2020 will allow employers to bring back employees who are already furloughed to carry out part time work whilst still enabling the employer to claim the furlough leave grant for any days when the employee is not required to work. The employer will pay the employee their normal wage for any days the employee works. It is hoped that this greater flexibility will be helpful to businesses opening up after lockdown.”

For advice on all aspects on employment law contact the team on 0161 785 3500 or email enquiries@pearsonlegal.co.uk or susan.mayall@pearsonlegal.co.uk or make an online enquiry

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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