We have received a number of questions about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the "80% Scheme" - as it's being referred to.
There have been few details released yet and so we can only offer our opinion at this stage. We will upload guidelines on the scheme as new information is released.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means that any Employers that:
We must be clear, to register your Employee as a Furloughed Worker on the (yet to be released) HMRC portal, you are legally changing their status which, under the current legislation, provides them with fewer protections.
The term "Furloughed" essentially means that the job role is being put "on hold" or is in sleeper mode. The Scheme has been devised to protect as many jobs as possible, it's essentially a redundancy protection scheme.
As an Employer, you will be able to reclaim 80% of the Employees monthly salary, up to a maximum cap of £2500 per month. It has not been confirmed yet whether the 80% figure also includes Employer national insurance costs or not. But, we do know that it is expected to run for three months, from 1st March 2020, but may be extended if necessary.
March salaries are now due for most Employees so, as an Employer, if you wish to furlough an employee you must:
However, there does appear to be a catch.
It would appear that any Employees that are put onto reduced hours will not be covered by the Scheme. For example, if you have ten Employees, it would be better to have five working full time and five furloughed, as opposed to ten working reduced hours. It works out better for you and your Employees.
Two things that are not clear yet:
A side note on holidays - these will still accrue for any Employee on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) - whether because of self-isolation or they are unable to work due to looking after children, so you must ensure that your Employees are still using their holiday entitlement during this period. Otherwise when you re-open for normal trade in the Autumn you may end up with all Employees needing their full holiday entitlement - which is not supportive of your company's recovery.