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Furlough scheme tapers off

As it stands, the Government has given no indication the furlough scheme will continue beyond October.

The scheme has already been extended twice, once to June, then again into October.

The scheme itself is tapering off and many employers will have important decisions to make on their future staffing needs beyond October.

It is worth a reminder that the Government is launching a job retention bonus of £1,000 (per employee) for employers willing to bring back furloughed employees back into work, in what they hope is an incentive for firms to retain staff beyond January 2021. We don’t yet know how the monies will be claimed but we will inform clients when the details are published.

All our clients who made furlough claims via our team secured the funding on time and we’ve been pleased to help our clients through what can be a complex process of calculation for the uninitiated.

If you need support to review your business plan or staffing levels when the furlough scheme ends then please speak to our team.

It is important that any decisions regarding staff are made in accordance with employment law regulations and we can guide you in the right direction with our wide network of legal professionals to ensure that you comply with the law when making redundancies of staff or directors.

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More clarity about how the ‘80%’ scheme works

We’ve been closely monitoring the support being made available by the Government. In particular, we’ve been keen to get more details about the Job Retention Scheme (often referred to as the ‘80%’ scheme).

Further details on this particular scheme are now available directly here.

Key issues

The main aspects of the scheme which are most relevant to you (based upon our review of the rules and feedback we’ve received from the clients we have been discussing this with in detail) are as follows:

  • There doesn’t appear to be any restriction for directors/family member, which was one of our initial concerns – so everyone may apply.
  • Companies will receive a grant from HMRC to cover the lower of 80% of an employee’s regular wage or £2,500 per month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage.
  • Furloughed employees must have been on your company payroll on or before 28 February 2020
  • If the employee has been employed (or engaged by an employment business) for a full twelve months prior to the claim, you can claim for the higher of either:
    • the same month’s earning from the previous year
    • average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year

If the employee has been employed for less than a year, you can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work.

  • You can choose to provide a top-up salary in addition to the grant. Employer National Insurance Contributions and automatic enrolment contribution on any additional top-up salary will not be funded through this scheme
  • Grants will be paid by BACS, after providing your bank account details, although there is no timescale for home quickly companies will be reimbursed.

This is a very rapid piece of legislation and is consistent with the Governments initial announcement. The main issue still not resolved is the timescale from submission of a claim to payment. Be assured that we will keep monitoring the situation and share key details and updates as they emerge.

If you require specific advice and support to implement this scheme in your business please speak directly to Murray Patt.