On Friday night HMRC released details of the flexible furlough scheme. The most significant change is that the minimum three-week period for furlough has been removed (as of 1 July 2020). There is no minimum period, although any claim through the CJRS portal must be in respect of a minimum one-week period (i.e. employers can only put in four claims a month, not 31).
The details were released in two ways; the existing guidance was updated, and three new pieces of guidance were released. It would be fair to say the way this update was released was far from helpful.
In summary, the key take-aways from the latest guidance are as follows:
- There are no changes to grant levels in June.
- From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.
- From 1 August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month. To be eligible for the grant employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed.
- For June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours the employee is on furlough, as well as employer National Insurance Contributions (ER NICS) and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work.
- For August, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough.
- For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
- For October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
Employers will continue to able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense if they wish. Employers will have to pay their employees for the hours worked.
The timetable for changes to the scheme is set out below. Wage caps are proportional to the hours an employee is furloughed. For example, an employee is entitled to 60% of the £2,500 cap if they are placed on furlough for 60% of their usual hours. The table shows Government contribution, required employer contribution and amount employee receives where the employee is furloughed 100% of the time.
** Wage caps are proportional to the hours not worked **
|Government contribution: employer NICs and pension contributions||Yes||No||No||No|
|Government contribution: wages||80% up to £2,500||80% up to £2,500||70% up to £2,187.50||60% up to £1,875|
|Employer contribution: employer NICs and 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 per month||80% up to £2,500 per month||80% up to £2,500 per month||80% up to £2,500 per month|
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.
For more details, Employers can:
Check if they can claim (original employer guidance doc – – UPDATED
Check which employees they can put on furlough guidance doc – – UPDATED
Steps to take before calculating a claim using the CJRS – – NEW
Calculate how much they should claim – – NEW
Claim for their employees’ wages online – – UPDATED
Report a payment in PAYE RTI – – UPDATED
Part-furlough worked example – – NEW
Long list of worked examples – – UPDATED
Support for Employers
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated furlough scheme continues to present numerous and complex challenges for Employers.
If you are an Employer and require advice and support on the various steps you need to take to end furlough, call us now on 0800 612 4772 or Contact us via our website and we will set out clear options for you to help ensure you comply with your legal obligations.