Flexible furlough: what you need to know

The Government has announced guidance on ‘flexible furlough’ arrangements, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Schemes (JRS), coming into effect from 1st July 2020. The aim of the scheme is for businesses to gradually bear the burden of the JRS and encourage them to reintroduce furloughed staff back to work in an attempt to stimulate the economy.

The main points of the new guidance are:

  • Furloughed employees are allowed to work but must pay these employees for the time worked. The JRS can be claimed to cover any time not worked in what would be their usual working week;
  • The periods in which an employee is not working under the flexible furlough scheme are subject to the same rules of the full-time furlough scheme;
  • There is no minimum number of weeks or days employee’s must be flexibly furloughed for;
  • Members of staff who haven’t been furloughed before 1st July cannot be furloughed after this date. Effectively, they must have been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks between 1 March and 30 June 2020;
  • Therefore, the number of employees flexibly furloughed cannot exceed the number of employees included in the furlough claim covering up to 30th June;
  • If you flexibly furlough an employee, you will need a new written agreement which confirms the new furlough arrangement;
  • JRS grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments;

Full and comprehensive guidance can be found on The Government’s website:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

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