Employers must act fast to take advantage of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for employees yet to be furloughed.
In his announcement last week, the Chancellor confirmed that the Scheme will be closed to new entrants from 30 June 2020, which means that the last date on which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time is tomorrow, 10 June 2020. This is because there is a minimum 3-week furlough period which must be completed prior to 30 June 2020. So, if you’ve been thinking about placing a member of staff on furlough, don’t delay, otherwise you might miss out completely.
One question left outstanding from last week’s announcement, and upon which further guidance is expected, is whether employees can be ‘re-furloughed’ after the 30 June 2020. That is, can employees who have returned to work from a period of furlough leave, be re-furloughed after 30 June 2020? We anticipate that previously furloughed staff for whom a claim has been submitted will be eligible to be re-furloughed after 30 June 2020, but will update you again once the position is clear.
Another important change to the Scheme going forward is that the total number of employees that can be furloughed cannot exceed the maximum number previously claimed under the Scheme. We expect the relevant date for this purpose will be 1 July 2020 but, again, we’ll update you once we know for sure. Ahead of that announcement, we recommend that you look back and establish what your organisation’s ceiling number would be for furloughing staff and consider whether it would be advantageous to create extra headroom for planned restructuring in the future.
If you would like any advice on the Scheme or help to forward-plan an anticipated restructuring, please get in touch with a member of the team: firstname.lastname@example.org