HMRC has released updated guidance on the Flexible Furlough Scheme which will come into effect on 1st July. The new guidance has been released in the form of updates to existing pages as well as a series of new guides dedicated to calculating claims.
We’ve highlighted some of the key changes coming into force from 1st July below:
• From 1 July 2020 employees will be able to work for some of the week and be furloughed for the rest. The split of working/non-working time is to be agreed between you and your employee and must be confirmed in writing.
• There will no longer be a minimum three-week period of furlough. As of 1 July 2020 there is no minimum period, although claims can only be submitted in respect of a minimum one-week period.
• The rules of the scheme and the amounts you can claim will change each month, as such claim periods must start and end in the same calendar month.
• You can only make one claim in respect of any claim period. Periods in subsequent claims cannot overlap with previous claims. This means that salary for flexibly furloughed staff must be claimed alongside staff who are furloughed full-time.
• You will need to keep written records of hours worked by your employees and for hours during which they remain furloughed.
HMRC has released detailed guidance and examples on how to calculate the amount you can claim for flexibly furloughed employees. It’s extremely complex but to assist, we have included some links below:
• Before calculating the amount you can claim, you will need to work out your employee’s normal and furloughed hours. Guidance on this, along with worked examples, can be found here . You should not make the claim until you are sure of the exact hours worked because otherwise you may have to repay some of the sums claimed. The calculations vary depending on whether your employees have fixed or variable hours.
• Updated guidance on how to calculate 80% of wages can be found here.
• You can find a worked example of the full calculations necessary for a claim here (N.B. this calculation is for an employee with a fixed salary and fixed hours).
Please read the new guidance carefully in advance of making any claims under the new scheme. Whilst this was seen as a welcome to many who wanted to commence a back to work transition, we fear that the complexities of both the scheme and its calculations will mean that more and more companies will be looking to make redundancies or keep a majority of their workforce fully furloughed. Suffice to say, the scheme’s full name has been abbreviated by many to something far less polite!
If you have any questions about ending furlough leave, bringing your staff back to work or placing employees onto the new flexible scheme please contact us.