Furlough scheme update and introduction of Flexible Furlough
On Friday 31st May the Chancellor announced the update to the furlough scheme that will see us through until 31st October 2020, when it was confirmed that the scheme will close.
So, what’s new?
- The scheme is closing to new employees on 10th June. This means that if you have been considering putting any employees on furlough, then you’ll need to do this by 10th June at the latest.
- The scheme is closing on 30th June.
- From 1st July furloughed employees can start working for you, part time. How this works is entirely up to the business, in terms of how many hours they will work and how many hours they will be paid for and not required to work.
- From 1st August employers will need to pay the National Insurance and Pension contributions for each employee. You can still claim 80% of their salary, but you cannot claim for National Insurance or Pension contributions.
- From 1st September, employees on furlough will still need to be paid 80% of their wages, but you can only claim back 70%.
- From 1st October, employees on furlough will still need to be paid 80% of their wages, but you can only claim back 60%.
Can I still rotate those who have been previously furloughed through July and August and beyond?
Yes, as long as the employee has completed the minimum 3-week furlough period before 30th June.
I need to prepare the workplace for people to come back to work. What should I do now?
You need to start thinking about carrying out a risk assessment. The risk assessment will highlight any issues that could arise when your employees come back to work. Think about things like:
1) Social distancing measures
2) Personal Protective Equipment
3) Increasing cleaning rotas
4) Clear communication with your employees
5) A process for checking that these new rules are being followed
Once you’ve carried out the risk assessment and put all of the measures in place, you need to talk to your employees about it. If you don’t, then they aren’t going to know what you’ve done to keep them safe.
Having these conversations with them will help to ease their anxieties about coming back to work and will also show that you’ve done everything you can to keep them safe.
If you need help with a risk assessment, why not contact Dafydd on email@example.com to arrange a free 30 minute chat and see how he can help you?
If I have employees who are shielding, can they be part of the flexible furlough scheme?
At the moment, the changes to the advice for people who are shielding only really amount to them being able to leave their homes for exercise or to meet up with people from other households, observing the social distancing measures. There’s been no information released about people who are shielding being able to go back to work.
At this stage, we believe that staying safe would be the best option, so keep these people on furlough.
I need to consider making redundancies. What should I do?
It’s a huge decision when you know you have to make people redundant and it can feel like there’s so many hoops to jump through, you don’t know where to start. Make sure that you follow the redundancy process, you are clear about what you want the business to look like going forwards, and that you are transparent with the employees about what’s going on.
If you’ve already got your PitStop annual subscription, then there’s a 3-step guide to redundancy in your HR library. If you haven’t already signed up, what are you waiting for? Everything you need to carry out a redundancy and the normal day-to-day HR is waiting for you here. If you enter the code COVID19 when you sign up you’ll even get a 20% discount.