Our employment lawyers can advise both employees and employers on the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme and any upcoming changes.
On 29 May 2020, the Chancellor announced that no new entrants to the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS), known as the furlough scheme, will be accepted after 30 June 2020.
As all furloughed employees had to have been furloughed for a minimum of three weeks, from 1 July 2020 the scheme only continues for previously furloughed employees.
The Government’s CJRS Factsheet confirmed that “the number of employees an employer can claim for in any claim period cannot exceed the maximum number they have claimed for under any previous claim under the current CJRS”. This suggests that employers who have been rotating groups of employees on and off furlough cannot place all of those employees on furlough after 1 July 2020, but will be limited to the maximum number they have claimed in any one claim period previously.
After 1 July 2020 the furlough scheme will be more flexible. Employees will no longer need to be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks and are permitted to carry out part-time work for their employer whilst on furlough, with employers able to recover a proportion of wages for the days on which employees do not work.
However, from 1 August 2020 financial recovery under the scheme will taper downwards, with employers having to cover employer NI and pension contributions, and they will have to top up to a minimum of 80% of wages or the cap of £2,500, in September and October. The recovery from the Government will reduce to 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 in September, and 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 in October. The CJRS ends on 31 October 2020.