The UK Government has, today (3 March), announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“Furlough Scheme”) has been extended again – this time until 30 September 2021.
In his Spring budget address to the House of Commons, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, confirmed that the Furlough Scheme would be extended from the end of April until the Autumn.
There will be no changes to the terms already in place under the Furlough Scheme: furloughed employees will continue to receive up to 80% of their pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Employers, meanwhile, will be required to pay employee pension and National Insurance contributions (NICs).
The level of Government support will remain the same until 30 June 2021, with employers able to claim up to 80% of pay for hours not worked (subject to the salary monthly cap); however, from 1 July 2021, employers will be required to contribute a minimum of 10% of the employee’s monthly salary, with the Government footing the bill for the remaining 70% (once a claim is made).
Throughout August and September 2021, employers will be expected to contribute a minimum of 20% of their furloughed employees, with the Government paying 60%.
Full-time furlough and flexible furlough are still both eligible under the Scheme.
- Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
- Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period.
- When claiming the available Scheme grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.
- Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and national insurance (NI) contributions due on those amounts.
Under the terms and conditions of the Furlough Scheme, employers must make sure that the furlough agreement is consistent with employment, equality, and discrimination laws.
Employer’s must all keep a written record of the agreement for five years, along with how many hours flexi-furlough employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (i.e., not working).
How to Claim?
If you do not finish your claim in one session, you can save a draft. You must complete your claim within 7 days of starting it. If you want to delete a claim in the online service, you must do this within 72 hours of starting it.