The Government has announced that from 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back on a part time basis whilst also announcing the tapering of the financial support offered from August.
Employers will be able to decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return (although any contractual changes will need to be agreed and confirmed in writing). This should enable employers to bring the workforce back in a staggered manner whilst continuing to receive financial support under the Jobs Retention Scheme (JRS).
Employers will be responsible for paying employees’ wages whilst at work with the JRS covering the hours that the furloughed employees are not working.
The JRS will close to new entrants on 30 June, which means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current minimum three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.
The amount that employers can claim under the JRS will remain the same during June and July (although if bringing employees back part-time in July, only non-working hours will be covered). From 1 August, the level of Government grant will be slowly tapered, although employees will continue to receive 80% of their normal pay (subject to a monthly cap of £2,500) covering the time they are unable to work.
During August, employers will be able to claim 80% of furloughed employees’ wages up to a monthly cap of £2,500 under the Scheme. Employers will no longer be able to claim for employer NICs or pension contributions under the JRS and will have to fund these themselves.
During September, employers will be able to claim 70% of furloughed employees’ wages up to a monthly cap of £2,190 under the Scheme. Employers will not be able to claim employer NICs or pension contributions and will have to fund 10% of the normal wages received by furloughed employees, so that the employees continue to receive 80% of their pay, up to the monthly cap of £2,500.
During October, employers will be able to claim 60% of furloughed employees’ wages up to a monthly cap of £1,875 under the Scheme. Employers will not be able to claim employer NICs and pension contributions and will have to fund 20% of the normal wages received by furloughed employees, to make up the 80% total to which the employees are entitled subject to the monthly cap of £2,500.
If your furloughed employees are working part-time, the monthly cap on furlough pay will be proportional to the hours not worked.
For full details please see the Government factsheet.