On 29 May the Chancellor announced a series of changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), tapering down the Government funding for the final few months that it is available, and introducing flexible furloughing. The purpose of this note is to summarise the key points and provide clarification on the key aspects. This initial analysis is based on a fact sheet issued by HMRC; detailed guidance is to be issued on 12 June. The information in this note is therefore subject to amendment and will be revised as appropriate following issue of the detailed guidance.
- From 1 July 2020, employees will be able to return to work from being on furlough for any amount of time or shift pattern. Any normal hours not worked will continue to be able to be claimed via the JRS.
- Employers will need to agree the new flexible working arrangements with employees and have this confirmed in writing.
- When submitting a JRS claim, employers will need to report the hours worked and the usual working hours for each claim period.
- For the hours worked, the employer will be solely responsible for paying the employee as well as the employer NICs and any employer pension contributions .
- Further and more detailed guidance on how to calculate flexible furlough claims will be published by HMRC on 12 June 2020.
Closure to newly furloughed employees
- From 30 June 2020 the JRS will close to employees who have not previously been furloughed.
- Employees will need to have been on furlough for a full 3 week period by 30 June in order to continue to be furloughed. So in order for employees to be furloughed beyond 30 June, they need to have started their furlough period by 10 June 2020 at the latest.
- Employers will then have until 31 July to submit JRS claims for any claim periods up to 30 June 2020.
- From 1 July 2020, claim periods will no longer be able to overlap calendar months. This is to enable the management of the forthcoming changes.
- For June 2020, employers can continue to claim 80% of an employee’s pay up to £2,500, including the employer class 1 NICs and 3% employer pension contributions.
- For July 2020, employers can claim 80% of an employee’s pay up to £2,500, including the employer class 1 NICs and 3% employer pension contributions, for any usual hours an employee does not work. For any hours worked, the employer will have to pay all costs directly.
- For August 2020, employers can claim 80% of an employee’s pay up to a maximum of £2,500 only for any usual hours an employee does not work. The employer will need to pay all employers class 1 NIC’s and pension contributions.
- For September, employers can claim 70% of an employee’s pay up to a maximum of £2,187.50 for any usual hours an employee does not work. The employer will need to pay all employers class 1 NICs and pension contributions, and 10% of the employee’s pay for any usual hours not worked.
- For October, employers can claim 60% of an employee’s pay up to £1,875 for any usual hours an employee does not work. The employer will need to pay all employers class 1 NICs and pension contributions, and 20% of the employee’s pay for any usual hours not worked.
- The caps on the monthly pay to be claimed via JRS are to be pro-rated for hours worked and not worked. The capped amounts included in this note are based on an employee being fully furloughed and not working.
- Employers will still be able to choose to top-up employees’ pay over and above any amounts they claim via the JRS
- The JRS will cease on 31 October 2020. The last day to submit a claim has not yet been announced.
- In summary:
Employers NICs and pension contributions
|80% up to £2,500||80% up to £2,500||70% up to £2,187.50||60% up to £1,875|
|–||–||10% up to £312.50||20% up to £625|
As expected the rules covering this transitional period will be complex and is with the original introduction of the scheme will anticipate a number of questions and points of clarification will be raised between now and 12 June. We will of course continue to provide our updates as the position evolves.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the impact of Coronavirus on your business, please get in touch.
The information in this update should not be regarded as financial advice. This is based on our understanding on 02 June 2020. Laws and tax rules may change in the future.