Flexible furloughing details released


Late on Friday evening (12 June) details were released concerning part-time working and much more besides. What do you need to know?

Flexibility:

From 1 July, you can bring back to work employees who have been furloughed before this date for at least three weeks for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim a grant for any normal hours not worked. In other words, you have full flexibility over which hours furloughed staff work.

If you flexibly furlough employees, you’ll need to make sure that you agree this with your employee (or reach collective agreement with a trade union) and keep a new written agreement that confirms the new furlough arrangement. You’ll also need to:

  • make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws

  • keep a written record of the agreement for five years; and

  • keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (i.e. not working) for six years (you must keep a copy of your records and calculations in relation to your claim to HMRC for six years).

The Calculation: HMRC’s online calculator can only be used for claims ending on or before 30 June. After this date, you will need to work this out. This means that for any employees who you are flexibly furloughing, you’ll need to do a series of calculations to work out what the furlough pay will be for the usual hours that your employee is not working during your claim period.

For example, an employee who would usually work 40 hours per week on a monthly salary of £3,000. If you want them to work half days in July, and a claim is made for the whole month of July, then, if the actual amount worked is 23 half days of four hours = 92 hours, the furloughed hours are 86, i.e. 178 ((40 ÷ 7) x 31) usual hours – 92 actual hours’ worked. Next you will need to calculate the maximum amount you could claim for, i.e. 80% of your employee’s usual wage up to the £2,500 cap for this month (note: you will have to start contributing towards this percentage from 1 September), which here will be £2,400 (80% of £3,000). Multiply this by 86 (furloughed hours) and divide by 178 (usual hours). This gives £1,159.55 as the employee’s furloughed pay for this period. Next you will need to work out how much to claim for employers' NI and employer pension contribution for this period (note: you will be unable to claim these costs from 1 August onwards). This needs to be applied pro rata and you will need to calculate this again on the employee’s usual hours not worked. See here for this calculation in full.

Further guidance on how to calculate what you can claim can be found here

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