Further to our recent blog about the extended furlough scheme, the Government has now issued its additional guidance.
Some important points to note
- The extended scheme will run from 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021
- Even though lockdown didn’t start until 5 November, it is possible to backdate any furlough claims to 1 November, but only if retrospective agreements are put in place by 13 November. It’s vital to have written agreements in place by this date for employees currently on furlough and wise to check that all furlough agreements have appropriate wording and cover the whole furlough period. Employment lawyers will be able to advise on this
- There’s no cap on the number of eligible employees you can place on furlough and claim for from 1 November (this had previously been limited)
- Employees on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 will be able to use the CJRS calculations as applied in August 2020 for reference pay and usual hours
- For employees on fixed pay, employed on or after 20 March 2020, the last pay period prior to 30 October 2020 provides the basis of the calculation. For employees on variable pay or hours, employed after 20 March, the average of the tax year 2020 to 2021 up to the start of the first furlough of that employee provides the basis of the calculation
- Different rules will apply for calculating average weekly earnings and furlough eligibility in respect of any employees on or just returning from statutory parental leave
- You can furlough an employee if they are unable to work because:
- they are clinically extremely vulnerable or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and are following public health guidance, or
- they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, including employees that need to look after children
- An employee with more than one job can be furloughed for each one or be furloughed in one and carry on working as normal for another employer. However, if an employee has had multiple employers over the past year, but has only worked for one of them at any one time and is being furloughed by their current employer, their former employer/s should not re-employ them, put them on furlough and make a claim through the scheme
- Whilst the Government has said that it is reviewing whether employers should be eligible to claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods, it also states that the approach will change for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, so we would assume that it’s likely that this will no longer be allowed. Further guidance is promised by late November.
Also remember: 30 November 2020 is the last day an employer can submit or change a furlough claim for periods ending before 31 October.
Please get in touch with your usual Sagars team member if you have any queries or contact our payroll manager Andrew Senior.