Furloughing staff for the first time – the new rules
Furlough rules are changing and the last date you can furlough an employee for the first time is Wednesday 10 June.
“Why so early?”
From Wednesday 1 July the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS) will only be available to firms who’ve used it before – and only then for staff who’ve already been on it.
To qualify after that date an employee must have been furloughed for a full three-week period before Tuesday 30 June. Hence, you’ll need to get staff on the scheme by Wednesday 10 June if it’s their first time.
“I’ve had staff on the scheme before. Does this deadline affect me?”
It depends. If you’re planning on furloughing staff members who at some point have been on the scheme for a full three-week period then the answer is no.
But if you’re thinking of furloughing members of staff who haven’t been on the scheme before, then the answer is yes. The 10 June deadline is for firms furloughing individual staff members for the first time.
“Can I furlough my staff again after Wednesday 1 July?”
Yes. An employee who’s been furloughed and returned to work can be furloughed again after Wednesday 1 July. But they must have been furloughed for a full three-week period previously.
“Can I bring my staff back to work part time and keep them on the scheme?”
Yes. You can bring your furloughed staff back to work on a part-time basis and still claim the CJRS grant for the normal hours they haven’t worked. In other words if a staff member works 16 of their 40 hours for a week, you can claim the CJRS grant for the remaining 24 hours – as per the terms of the scheme.
“Will the Government still pay 80% towards furloughed staff’s wages?”
They will in July and August – up to £2,500. But from August you’ll have to start paying their National Insurance and pension contributions. In September you’ll also have to pay 10% of your furloughed staff wages (Government will cover 70%). In October you’ll have to pay 20% (Government will cover 60%).
The Government will publish further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims on Friday 12 June.