27 Jun Flexible Furlough – Things you need to know
From 1st July you will be able to bring your staff back to work using the flexible furlough. If you are planning on bringing some employees back to work this scheme, there are several important things to do. One is that you must inform and get agreement from your employees.
You can find a selection of letter templates here.
Prior to 1 July 2020, employees on furlough could not undertake any work for you other than training but from 1 July this changes:
- You can only claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March & 30 June 2020
- You will be able to flexibly furlough employees – this means you can bring your employees back to work for any amount of time, and any work pattern, although they will have needed to have completed 3 consecutive weeks of furlough before you can flexibly furlough them, eg if a previously furloughed employee started a new furlough period on the 22 June which would have to continue for at least 3 consecutive weeks ending on the 12th July, after this they can be flexibly furloughed.
- You will still be able to claim the furlough grant for the hours your flexibly furloughed employees do not work, compared to the hours they would normally have worked in that period.
If you flexibly furlough employees, you’ll need to agree this with the employee (or reach collective agreement with a trade union) and keep a new written agreement that confirms the new furlough arrangement. Remember you must keep all paper work for a minimum of 5 years, including the written record of the agreement with your staff.
You’ll need to:
- make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
- keep a written record of the agreement for 5 years
- keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (i.e. not working).
Employees cannot undertake any work for you during time that you record them as being on furlough.
EA Assist has been working since March with companies and individuals helping with furlough and SSP calculations. If you would like help then please give us a call on 01379 646943 for a quote bespoke to you and your requirements.
The scheme and the way furlough grant claims are calculated will change and you should be aware of these changes effective from 1st July 2020. To be prepared we suggest you read the following:
- Claim for periods ending on or before 30 June, by 31 July – this is the last date you can make those claims
- Claim for further furlough periods as needed – the first time you will be able to make a claim for days in July will be 1 July.
- Inform and agree the changes with all staff if you are considering using the flexible furlough
- Agree hours and shift patterns that you want employees to work from 1 July
- Keep strict time sheets for all staff from 1st July for working and non-working hours – you will need to keep these for 6 years.
- Ensure you have updated the minimum wage information if staff are returning and have not worked since March 31st 2020.
- If staff are on variable hours – make sure you have the relevant information regarding calculating ‘usual hours’. This could be the hours worked from April 19 – March 20 – or the same period/month last year.
You can use the on-line calculator, but you will need to work out employees usual hours before you can use this. You must remember if you calculate your own claims to only claim for the NI and Pension amounts relative to the furlough in accordance with government guidelines.
In August 2020 you will not be able claim NI and Pension contributions for any staff, furloughed or otherwise.
Please remember the government record keeping requirements. While the government are busy now, we know that they will resume investigations, which will include Furlough Grant Claims as well as PAYE, VAT and Tax.
Please ensure that you keep:
- the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
- the claim reference number for your records
- your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
- usual hours worked, including any calculations that were required, for employees you flexibly furloughed
- actual hours worked for employees you flexibly furloughed
If you are struggling with your payroll or furlough calculations then please give us a call. We can help with a monthly payroll solution bespoke to you and your business whether you have 1 or 100 employees.
Give us a call on 01379 646943 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.