As the part time furlough scheme comes in to encourage employers to get their staff back into the workplace, there are a number of changes which were announced by the government on 12 June.
- Effectively this is a brand new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) starting on 1 July, all claims for earlier periods must be made by 31 July and claims under the new rules cannot be made until 1 July
- Any employee who has been furloughed for at least 21 days between 1 March and 30 June is eligible to be included in the claim
- You cannot furlough more than the maximum number of employees who have been claimed for previously, HMRC will be checking this. One of the exceptions are employees returning from parental leave
- From 1 July employees may work and be furloughed in the same period, even the same day. The employer will need to calculate the usual hours and the furloughed hours to come to the actual hours worked.
- The hours worked will need to be reported in the furlough claim
- Hours will have to be reported on the payslip for employees who are flexibly furloughed from 1 July
- The £2,500 monthly wage cap continues to apply and will be pro rata’ed depending on the time in furlough
- National Minimum wage must be paid for anyone working and furloughed in the same period
Full details can be found on HMRC CJRS. There are further changes coming: from 1 August no pension cost or employers NIC will be claimable; and in September and October the amount which can be claimed will also reduce – further details will be issued by the government in due course. Hopefully the part time furlough scheme will help out some businesses who have been struggling to balance the benefits of the furlough scheme against the need to have staff working to generate income when the demand is suppressed. You should seek professional advice before taking any steps based on these contents. If you would like advice in this or other areas feel free to call. Alastair Wood, AW Accounting, Gravesend, Kent – Accountants who “speak your language”