On the 29th of May 2020, The Chancellor announced changes to the furlough scheme. This guide has been produced to help explain employers the key deadlines ahead of them.
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Employers will have to furlough any employees who have not been previously furloughed by the 10th of June if the same employee is to be furloughed from the 1st of July. That is because an employee must be furloughed for 3 consecutive weeks to qualify and new entrants are not allowed to be furloughed from the 1st of July.
The Chancellor said that from the 1st July 2020, the scheme will not be open to new entrants. It has been suggested that if employees have been furloughed for 3 consecutive weeks but are not currently on furlough, they will still qualify for furlough after the 1st July because technically they are not new entrants.
From the 1st July 2020, the furlough scheme will be closed to new entrants. Only employees who had been furloughed for a consecutive 3 weeks prior to 30th June 2020 will qualify for the furlough scheme from the 1st July 2020.
Prior to 1st July, claimants could make one claim for multiple pay periods.
From the 1st July 2020, employers will not be able to overlap calendar months, meaning you can only claim a maximum of 1 month per claim.
The number of employees you can make a furlough claim for from the 1st July cannot exceed the number of employees claimed in a previous period.
From the 1st July, the government will be introducing the flexible furlough scheme.
The flexible furlough scheme allows employers to bring back employee’s part time and make a furlough claim for the period the employee is not active in the business.
After the 31st July, employers will not be able to make claims for periods prior to 30th June.
From the 1st August, employers will not be able to claim the employer NI and compulsory employer pension contributions on furloughed pay.
This will not affect many small businesses because these businesses will likely have been receiving the Employment Allowance. A business receiving Employment Allowance cannot recover employer NI on furloughed pay under the job retention scheme.
The Employment Allowance for the tax year 2020/2021 is £4,000. This means that employers will not pay the first £4,000 of employer’s national insurance incurred, providing they qualify and claim the relief.
The Employment Allowance would have been claimed on furlough pay and a result, employers would not be entitled to claim the employer NI on furlough pay, as they are already receiving tax relief.
The government will be winding down the furlough grant by reducing the amount from 80% to 70%.
In addition, employers will also be required to contribute 10% of the employee’s usual pay.
Employers must take care to calculate the 10% on usual pay and not the furlough pay.
In practise, many employers will have reduced their employees’ wages by 20% to match the claim for the furlough scheme. Take care to calculate the 10% on usual pay and not the furlough pay being paid over the last few weeks.
The government will now be winding down the scheme during its final month by reducing the grant from 70% to 60%.
In addition, employers will now be required to contribute 20% of the employee’s usual pay.
The furlough scheme ends
The furlough scheme has now come to an end. Employers will not be able to make any claims after this date.
The scheme will have been opened for a total of 8 months, starting in March 2020 and ending in October 2020.
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