HR / Furlough Update: 2nd November: 2nd November

Please see the following update from our HR partner, Absolute Works. We hope you find it helpful.

The detail of the JSS (Job Support Scheme) Open and Closed were published at around 7pm on Friday evening (Oct 30th), following which an announcement from the Prime Minister on Saturday evening (Oct 31st) saw the JSS Schemes delayed and the furlough scheme extended as we enter a second national lockdown.

We are still awaiting further detail however, the important points that we know so far are;

  • Furlough will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid to cover wages costs.
  • Furlough Scheme extended until December (no precise date).
  • HMRC will pay 80% of wages (cap of £2,500).
  • Employers will cover NICs and pension contributions.
  • Flexible furloughing & full-time furloughing allowed (remember to keep your records / timesheets for audit trail).
  • JSS will be introduced following end of the Furlough Scheme (the date of any JSS Agreements already put in place should be amended although, it would be prudent to wait until we know the definite date of the start of the scheme, also, if you want to rescind the JSS Agreement please contact your allocated HR support for template wording).
  • Neither the Employee nor Employer needs to have previously used furlough.
  • Eligible Employees are those on PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th Oct 2020; on any type of contract & any working arrangements (this includes those on notice of redundancy)
  • The grant, based on usual hours worked in a claim period, broadly follows the same methodology as current furlough.
  • For hours not worked by the Employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
  • Employers continue to pay Employee for hours worked in the normal way.
  • Employers can top up employee wages if wish.

Please remember, there must be a written agreement in place whereby the Employee agrees to be furloughed.

(Those that have used an ‘Absolute Works’ template furlough agreement should not need a further agreement drafting as the agreement in place should provide for a further period of furlough in the event that the Employer wishes to utilise the scheme – until the end of the scheme, which, includes the extension. If in doubt, please contact us).

The position regarding those that have to shield is unclear and as soon as we know more we will release more information. Further details will be available shortly when claims can first be made in respect of Employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support.

Please get in touch if you have further questions.