On Friday (12 June), HMRC published an update to the guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) with some additional details of the flexible furlough scheme. The scheme is due to begin on 1 July and enables employers to have furloughed staff carry out work for them on a part-time basis.
Changes include the removal of the three-week minimum furlough period from 1 July. Practically, this means that employers will no longer have to worry that their employees are inaccessible for at least three weeks when put on furlough leave.
It will be possible to recall employees and put them back on furlough at any time, although there will be a limit of four claims per month for furloughed employees through the CJRS, which means that the minimum furlough period for employees should be at least one week.
The extent of the part-time work will be determined by an agreement between the employer and employee on an individual basis.
In addition, HMRC has added worked examples of how to calculate furlough claims for an employee on flexible furlough, which are available on their website.
We await the updated Direction from the Treasury in relation to flexible furlough, and will provide a further update when more detail is available.
It is important for businesses to begin planning for employees returning to work or, in some cases, planning for redundancies whether on a collective or individual basis. Timescales for handling larger scale redundancies which need up to 45 days’ collective consultation are an important factor for employers reviewing their resource and return to work arrangements.
If you have any questions about collective redundancy processes, flexible furlough or any other aspect of the CJRS, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our specialist Employment team.