Yesterday we published a post about the next steps for the furlough scheme. We just wanted to draw your attention to a few points:

The Government had warned employers that financial support would start to taper off, but it was a bit surprising that flexible furloughing is to be introduced one month earlier than expected, from 1st July 2020.

Flexible furlough means there is no minimum furlough period. However, it is important to note that NO NEW EMPLOYEES CAN BE FURLOUGHED FOR THE FIRST TIME FROM JULY.

In addition to this, you cannot furlough a higher number of people in the new furlough scheme from 1st July than you had on furlough up to June. So the number of people on furlough must be lower than up to the period ending 30 June.

A furlough period for any employee who has not previously been furloughed will have to begin by 10th June in order for the 21st days of furlough to be completed by the old scheme on 30th June. It will not be acceptable for furlough to begin after that date and extend into July to make a three week furlough period, as the rules change on 1st July.

So if you are an employer who is trying to rota staff on full pay and furlough pay, be aware of this limitation.

Once the new roles are in place, employees can be furloughed for any length of time, even down to a few hours, and work the rest of the pay period, subject to the employer gaining their agreement in writing.

The Government is trying to develop rules and guidance that cover all types of contracts, but this could well be problematic for employees on zero hour contracts.

When more guidance comes out, NATA will post it.