Covid-19: updated furlough guidance

HMRC has updated its guidance for employers on making claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to reflect changes to the furlough scheme from 1 July, including flexible working

The first time employers will be able to make claims for days in July will be 1 July, and they cannot claim for periods in July before this point.

The guidance states that 31 July is the last day that employers can submit claims for periods ending on or before 30 June.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work flexibly and part time, for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked.

From this date, only employees that for whom employers have successfully claimed a previous grant for will be eligible for more grants under the scheme.

This means they must have previously been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

For the minimum three consecutive week period to be completed by 30 June, the last day an employee could have started furlough for the first time was 10 June.

This may differ if employers have an employee returning from statutory paternal leave, for which the regulations are different.

For employees that meet the published criteria, the number of employees an employer can claim for in any single claim period starting from 1 July cannot exceed the maximum number of employees that employer claimed for under any claim ending by 30 June.

HMRC gives as an example, an employer who had previously submitted three claims between 1 March and 30 June, in which the total number employees furloughed in each respective claim was 30, 20 and 50 employees. Then the maximum number of employees that employer could furlough in any single claim starting on or after 1 July would be 50.

In addition, from 1 July, employers can bring employees back to work for any amount of time, and any work pattern. If this is the case, employers must work out the employee’s usual and furloughed hours before they start calculating their claim.

From 1 August, the level of the grant will be slowly reduced. No grant will be available for Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions from 1 August although these contributions will remain payable by the employer.

From 1 September, employers will also be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages to ensure they continue to receive at least 80% of their wages for the time they’re on furlough.

Employers will still need to pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions on furloughed employees’ pay. For claims ending before 1 August, they can claim for these costs too.

Further information can be found here

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