Who can go on flexible furlough?
Anyone on the September payroll can be furloughed, either fully or on a flexible basis.
How do I put someone on flexible furlough?
Employers should discuss with employees who they wish to place on the furlough scheme, outlining which hours they will be expected to work. Staff will need to agree on the arrangements of their part-time work.
This agreement should be confirmed in writing and a written record kept of it for five years.
How long must flexible furlough last?
This is now fully flexible.
What records should I keep?
Employers will need to keep records of how many hours their employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed during flexible furlough.
How do I calculate working hours?
There are two different calculations employers can use to work out their employees' usual hours, depending on whether they work fixed or variable hours.
Where the employee's working hours are fixed, or their pay does not vary with the number of hours worked, the reference period for calculating their hours is the hours they were contracted for at the end of the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020.
Where an employee works variable hours, employers will use the higher of:
- the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019 to 2020 and;
- the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020
How much can I claim?
Wage caps are proportional to the hours an employee is furloughed. For example, an employee is entitled to 60% of the £2,500 cap if they are placed on furlough for 60% of their usual hours.
Currently the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough.
Employers will continue to be able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked on their own expense if they wish. Employers will have to pay their employees for hours worked and there will be no claim for these hours.
The issue for us is that this is going to vastly complicate the process again.
These are two separate systems with 2 different lots of calculations. Also the HMRC system does not retain information so even things like National Insurance numbers need to be manually input each time.
Going forward we will now be charging £60 (£50+VAT), or £25 plus VAT for each employee furloughed during the month if this is higher.
If you wish to deal with your own furlough claims then you will need a PAYE gateaway account to do this. In that situation we will just need you to confirm to us the amount to be paid to each employee. (You can split this between furlough and non-furlough if you wish the split to be shown on a payslip.).
HMRC will now publish some of the employers claim information
As part of HMRC aiming to deter fraudulent claims, they will now publish information about employers who claim for December onwards on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
This means that the following information will be published on GOV.UK:
HMRC will also be improving the information available to employees by including details of claims made for them in their Personal Tax Account (PTA).
- the employer name
- an indication of the value of the claim
- the company number for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)
HMRC will not publish these details on GOV.UK if the employer can provide evidence that it would cause serious risk of violence or intimidation to certain individuals or any individual living with them.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The scheme allows employers to claim for a percentage of their furloughed employees wages who were put on temporary leave because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
HMRC will check claims.
Payments may be refused of may need to be repaid in full to HMRC if:
- the claim is not made in line with HMRC guidelines
- the furloughed employees are not paid at least 80% of their wages
- the employer claims for days when a furloughed employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period for them
- the claim is fraudulent, abusive or paid in error
- the claim includes inaccurate or dishonest information