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COVID-19: Employment Law Update 6: Update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme & the Flexible Furlough Scheme


Update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Leave) and the Flexible Furlough Scheme

The last day employers could place employees on furlough leave was 10 June 2020, with the furlough scheme ending on 31 October 2020.

As of 1 July 2020 the Government has introduced the Flexible Furlough Scheme.  This scheme allows employees to return to work on a part-time basis and remaining furloughed for the remainder of their normal working time.  It is for the employer to decide with the employee what proportion they should return back to work and what proportion they will remain on furlough leave.

From 1 July 2020 the minimum three weeks’ period that an employee can be furloughed has been removed and there is now no minimum period.  However, any claims through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) portal must be for a minimum of a one week period, effectively meaning only four claims can be made in a one month period, rather than 30 separate claims in a month.

The next significant change is that from 1 August 2020 an employer will no longer be able to reclaim their employee’s national insurance contributions and pension contributions through the CJRS portal.  Instead employers will be expected to pay this.

From 1 September 2020 the Government will only pay 70% of an employee’s salary (up to a maximum of £2,187.50).  The employer is therefore required to top up the employee’s remaining wage to 80% (or more, depending on what the employer has agreed with the employee).

Then from 1 October 2020 the Government will only pay 60% of an employee’s salary (up to a maximum of £1,875), with employers continuing to have to top up the employee’s remaining wage to 80% (or more).

The Government has also announced that it is extending the self-employed grant.  Applications for the second and final grant will open in August 2020.  However, this second grant will only be up to 70% of average earnings up to a maximum of £6,750.

Is an employee entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if they have been told to isolate through the Test & Trace Service?

The short answer is yes.  The Government has extended SSP under The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2020.

Therefore, a person who is notified under the Test & Trace service that they must isolate for 14 days as they have been in close contact with a person who is suffering from coronavirus will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.

Disclaimer – The above facts are accurate as of 16:15 on 9 July 2020.

For advice on this, or any other employment matter, contact the employment team on 01905 723 561 or email: Guy.salter@smesolicitors.co.uk or Sonia.ali@smesolicitors.co.uk

Added: 01 Sep 2020 14:35


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