Updated guidance from HMRC has now been published which sets out how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will operate more flexibly from 1 July onwards.
The main points from the guidance are:
• Claims for furlough periods ending on or before 30 June 2020 must be made by 31 July 2020.
• From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern. Employers must pay employees in full for the hours they work and normal hours not worked can continue to be claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Hours not worked will be calculated by reference to the hours usually worked in the role.
• Only employees who have previously received payments under the scheme will be eligible for more payments under the scheme.
• If an employer decides to make use of the flexible furlough scheme and introduce part time working then a new written furlough agreement setting out the details of the furlough arrangements will need to be agreed with employees.
• In addition to the current obligation to keep a record of the furlough agreement, employers must keep a record of how many hours each employee works and the number of hours they are furloughed. Records must be kept for 6 years.
• When claiming for employees who are flexibly furloughed an employer should not claim until it is sure of the exact number of hours the employee will work/have worked during the claim period.
• From 1 July, the three week minimum furlough period will no longer apply. Claim periods starting on or after 1 July must start and end within the same calendar month and must last at least 7 days unless an employer is claiming for the first few days or the last few days in a month.
• An employer can only claim for a period of fewer than 7 days if the period being claimed for includes either the first or last day of the calendar month, and the employer has already claimed for the period ending immediately before it.
If you would like advice on any of the issues raised above or assistance with drafting a revised furlough agreement, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.