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The government guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been updated for the change to flexible furloughing. Although this commences on 1 July, any employee who commenced furlough before that date must complete a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks.
For example, a previously furloughed employee can start a new furlough period on 22 June which would have to continue for at least 3 consecutive weeks ending on or after 12 July. After this the employee can then be flexibly furloughed for any period.
Claims can no longer include 2 calendar months and claims for periods to 30 June must be made by 31 July.
Claims for staff flexibly furloughed should only be made once the exact number of hours to be worked during the claim period is known. If a claim is made in advance and the employee works for more hours than expected, the excess will have to be paid back to HMRC.
For employees who are flexibly furloughed, the employer must calculate the employee’s usual hours. This can be calculated for either the entire claim period or for each pay period, or part of a pay period, that falls within that claim period.
Unless the employee:
the fixed hours basis is used.
This requires the employer to:
For employees who do not have fixed hours or are paid based on the hours worked, the variable hours method should be used. The ‘usual hours’ for the employee will be calculated based on the higher of either:
The calculation should include:
For employees on a flexible work time arrangement or “flexi-leave”
The usual hours based on the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019 to 2020 is calculated by:
The usual hours based on the usual hours for a pay period or partial pay period based on the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020 is calculated by:
The last step noted above requires that the employer, for each pay period identified in 2019 to 2020, to:
The amounts calculated for each pay period are then added together and rounded up or down if the result is not a whole number.
The guidance includes:
An example of how to work out the usual hours worked in the same period last year for an employee who works variable hours and the pay period (or partial pay period) being claimed for starts and ends on the same calendar days as the identified pay period.
Where employees are paid per task or piece of work done, the same basis as employees who work variable hours should be used, if possible. If the hours worked is not known then this should be estimated using the number of ‘pieces’ produced and the “average rate of work per hour” calculated to comply with National Minimum Wage rules.
The number of hours furloughed is calculated by subtracting the number of hours actually worked in the claim period from the employee’s usual hours. Any time on annual or family related statutory leave while flexibly furloughed counts as furloughed hours and does not count as time actually worked.
The full updated guidance can be found here.
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