Further to our update on the CJRS Policy Paper on 5 November, we now have the full sets of guidance on furlough extension and we summarise some key (by no means all) points.
- It seems that the government will change the way the furlough scheme currently allows employers to claim furlough pay for notice periods. The exact wording is worth noting:
“The government is reviewing whether employers should be eligible to claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, with further guidance published in late November.”
This points firmly in the direction of not allowing notice periods to be claimed through the furlough scheme from December 2020, similar to the way the Job Support Scheme was designed to operate. This will have implications from a business planning perspective, especially for those planning redundancies with a view to claiming notice pay through the scheme. Further guidance on this is expected at the end of this month.
- The level of grant has gone up to cover 80% of basic salary on unworked hours up to the limit of £2,500 per month, which was the same level of support back in August before it tapered off in September and October. This is obviously good news for employers during the period of current lockdown which may last beyond December. Employers must cover NI and pension contributions on the salary paid to the employee, however.
- Another welcome news for employers is that neither the employer nor the employee needs to have used the furlough scheme before November 2020 to be eligible this time round, as long as they were employed on 30 October 2020. What’s more, employers can retrospectively use the scheme from 1 November so long as the agreement with the relevant employee(s) is put in place by 13 November 2020. Beyond this point, employers would only be eligible to claim once the agreement is put in place.
- Fturning from maternity leave, if an employee decides to end their maternity leave early to enable them to be furloughed (with the employer’s agreement), they will need to give the employer at least 8 weeks’ notice of their return to work and the employer will not be able to furlough them until the end of the 8weeks.
- From December 2020, HMRC plans to publish employer names and the company registration number of those who have made claims under the schemes.
If you have specific questions about any of the above or any issue arising out of the new guidance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.