Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) – November 2020
The team of HR experts at HR Elite answer your questions around the latest (CJRS) Extended Furlough Scheme. Please let us know if you need any one-to-one advice 01206 700690.
Who is eligible to be furloughed?
Employees must have been on an RTI on 30th October 2020.
Is there a minimum claim period?
Yes, the minimum period is 7 consecutive calendar days
Do staff have to have been furloughed before to be eligible now?
No, employees do not have to have been previously furloughed to be placed on the new scheme
Can we use flexi furlough again?
Yes, you can use full furlough or flexi furlough during this scheme
What rate of pay will furloughed staff receive from November?
The furlough scheme will pay 80% of staffs wages (up to a £2500 cap) from 5th November, until 31st March. Employers only need to contribute NIC and pension contributions. The scheme is being reviewed in January and may at that point adjust the contributions.
Can wages be topped up?
Yes, employers can top up wages in addition to the scheme if they wish.
Is shielding coming back in?
Individuals who previously shielded are advised to work from home where possible, but if not possible not to attend the workplace during this time. Unlike previous shielding, individuals are still allowed out for exercise.
Can furlough be used for staff who cannot work due to childcare reasons?
Yes, the scheme can be used in that situation during the (CJRS) Extended Furlough Scheme
Can staff who are shielding be furloughed?
Staff who previously shielded are eligible for furlough on this occasion
Can furlough be used to cover notice pay?
Yes, the guidance allows for this (with wages topped up to 100%). However this is being reviewed in December.
What about staff who have been made redundant?
Employees who were employed on 23rd September and notified by RTI on or before that date, who have since been made redundant can be rehired and placed on the scheme.
Will the Job Support Scheme (JSS) still come in?
Yes, it is currently postponed but will be launched after the furlough scheme ends
Will furlough be extended?
Current proposal include an extension until March 2021 with a review in January.
Do we need to write to staff who are furloughed?
Yes, as the scheme constitutes a change in terms and conditions
What happens to annual leave during furlough?
Annual leave will continue to accrue. Staff can still take annual leave during furlough, and wages must be topped up to 100%. You should however not put people on annual leave just to benefit from the furlough scheme
Is the furlough related bonus still being paid in February?
No, at the moment this is on hold during the (CJRS) Extended Furlough Scheme.
I cant afford to furlough my staff because I would have to pay them up front. Is this true?
Yes, you would need to pay your staff and make a claim to the government. Staff payments should not be delayed though.
What do I do if I do not need all my staff and want to make redundancies?
The scheme will help you to preserve jobs during this period, however, if you know you need to reduce numbers and make redundancies, or structure you should start the process soon as it can be a complex process to undertake
Can staff go on holiday or work from overseas whilst they are furloughed?
The requirements of the scheme are that the staff are available to work. Therefore, if they are going to be away and not able to return, this should be booked as annual leave.
How much notice do I have to give to bring someone back from furlough?
There is no legal minimum, however, we would recommend 24-48 hours where possible, so they have time to make any necessary arrangements. However, the scheme requires that they are available for work.
HR Elite works with businesses across Essex and Suffolk. If you need furlough support please contact us as we can definitely help, firstname.lastname@example.org or 01206 700 690