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Flexible furlough - one thing you might have missed

View profile for Julie Temple
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Flexible furlough - one thing you might have missed

I am sure many, business and employees alike, are looking forward to the flexibility under the coronavirus job retention scheme from 1 July 2020 and the possibilities it brings.

However, there is one important restriction that might have been overlooked and will need to be factored into your planning. 

From 1 July 2020, the maximum number of employees that can be claimed for under the furlough scheme in any claim period cannot be higher than the maximum number of employees that have been claimed for in a previous period. So, if the highest single claim for periods up to and including 30 June was for 100 people, employers may only claim for 100 in later claim periods. Employers cannot claim for more unless individuals are returning from statutory leave, as these can be added to the maximum. 

Where possible, claim periods after 1 July 2020 should align with running payroll and must be a minimum period of 7 days. They must not straddle calendar months. A claim period can be less than a week if they include the first day of the calendar month or the last day of the calendar month.

Together, these provisions mean, where you have previously claimed for calendar months and rotated staff in a role on furlough, you would have two on furlough in the claim period when you previously had one. Unless others are returning from furlough or, sadly, leaving, you will breach the maximum. One approach is to be flexible with the claim periods and tie in flexible furlough agreements with individual staff accordingly. So, those you were rotating remain rotated, but on a weekly, or bi-weekly, basis rather than three weekly. 

Whether this is worthwhile will depend on any additional cost and time in processing the furlough claims this regularly!

If you have any questions about employees you have furloughed, please give me a call on 01206 217318 or email julie.temple@birkettlong.co.uk.

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