The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is currently in place until 30 April 2021. An employer can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours they have not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. From 1 November 2020 onwards, employers can claim for employees who were employed on the 30 October 2020, so long as they were on the PAYE at this time.
Employees on any type of contract (full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts) can use the scheme.
When on furlough there are certain rules about what employees can do whilst on furlough. These are detailed in the guidance, here.
The HMRC guidance on which employees can be put on furlough using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been recently updated to state that employers can place employees on furlough where their health has been affected by coronavirus or where they have any other conditions, including if they are unable to work from home, or if they have to work reduced hours because they are either clinically extremely vulnerable, or have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in their household. A welcome clarification I’m sure for many parents whose children have been sent home from school recently.
It is important to note that there is still no obligation for employers to do this, it merely states that they can, not that they must do this. There is no right for any employee to placed on furlough by their employer, it is at the employer’s discretion to do so.
Please note, all advice and opinion offered in this article are subject to change in line with the latest government advice.