The furlough initiative continues to cause concerns, with many people asking me how the latest updates have changed the scheme. With this in mind, here are the answers to a few of the most common questions.
Q Who can I furlough?
A. You can furlough an employee as long as:
The employee does not need to have been previously furloughed.
Q How much can I claim under the Job Retention Scheme?
A. The extended furlough scheme is still operating in the same way. For any hours not worked by the employee, the Government will pay 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500 per month, per employee. In December 2020, it was announced the 80% contribution will continue for the remaining months of the scheme.
There is a handy calculator on the Gov.website to help you calculate what you can claim.
Q How much do I have to pay my employee?
A. You must pay 80% of their usual wages, in line with your claim, for the hours not worked (see above). This can be topped up to 100% of pay, if you so wish.
If your employee is serving a notice period, you should pay the full salary for this period. It cannot be claimed under the furlough scheme.
If your employee is taking annual leave, you should pay the usual holiday pay for the length of the leave. It cannot be claimed under the furlough scheme.
Q How many hours can I furlough my employee for?
A. There are two types of furlough leave permissible:
Q What can my employee do during furlough leave?
A. Your employee CAN:
Your employee CANNOT do any work for you or do anything to make money for you during a period of furlough – this includes your organisation and any other organisation linked to, or associated with, your organisation.
Q What process do I follow?
A. You must agree with your employee a period of furlough, whether this is flexible or fully furloughed. The agreement must be confirmed in writing and whilst the employee does not need to sign this, I do strongly suggest you do obtain a signed copy of the agreement. Moss HR can provide a Flexible Furlough Agreement – please contact us for more details.
Q What records must I keep?
A. In addition to the usual requirements to retain financial records, you must keep the written furlough agreement for 5 years. You must also keep records of usual hours, worked hours and furloughed hours.
One option is to keep an electronic calendar of furlough and working time. Moss HR can provide a Cloud-based HR system to assist with this (from as little as £10 per month). Please call me for a free trial.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator][vc_column_text]The calculation methods can be complex if your employee earns varying amounts from month to month, please drop me a line if you need support in calculating pay.
Please remember, you are not under any obligation to furlough. If there is a better solution for your business and your employees, you may decide not to furlough.
I would strongly recommend talking to an expert in HR before making any decisions as it is easier to do it right first time than to unpick it later.
The information contained in the Q&A is accurate as of today and please remember to keep a record of any decisions you make relating to furloughing your staff.
Please visit gov.uk for the complete guidelines.
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