The Government has updated its guidance on the Job retention Scheme with more detailed information. The Job Retention Scheme portal is now open.
Full details can be found here:
Employees can be furloughed multiple times, i.e. they can be furloughed, brought back to work, then re-furloughed (subject to each furlough period being at least three weeks).
Employers must notify employees of their furlough status in writing and keep the record of that written notification for five years.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and was initially open for 3 months, but this has been extended to June 30th.
Employees you can claim for:
Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on or before 19th March 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including:
· full-time employees
· part-time employees
· employees on agency contracts
· employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
When on furlough, an employee can not undertake work for or on behalf of the employer. This includes providing services or generating revenue.
If an employee is working, but on reduced hours, or for reduced pay, they will not be eligible for this scheme and you will have to continue paying the employee through your payroll and pay their salary subject to the terms of the employment contract you agreed.
Employees hired after 19th March 2020 cannot be furloughed or claimed for in accordance with this scheme.
If your employee has annual leave booked whilst they are on furlough leave:
An employee is entitled to be paid their normal remuneration (including any element for bonus & commission) when on annual leave for the first 4 weeks of annual leave (where EU law applies) whilst they are on furlough leave. The next 1.6 weeks of annual leave should be paid at the basic rate (basic salary without any element for bonus & commission) if they are on furlough leave. The employer will be able to claim 80% of the annual leave payment.
During the first 5.6 weeks of annual leave, normal remuneration (not 80% remuneration) should be paid, meaning the employer will need to ‘top up’ the payment.
Can you require employees take annual leave whilst on furlough leave?
Yes as long as you give the correct notice which is twice the amount of days as the days you want them to take off; e.g. if you want then to take 5 days leave then you will need to give them 10 days’ notice. You might want to do this for operational reasons.
Further information regarding annual leave and coronavirus can be found HERE