The furlough scheme has once again been extended, this time until the end of September 2021. The rules in relation to scheme eligibility, the levels of subsidy support, and the reference period used for newly eligible employees are all due to change between now and September.
1st November 2020 to 30th June 2021
Under the existing scheme rules, employers can claim grants covering 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is not working. Where the employee is not working, the employer does not have to contribute towards wages for unworked hours, but they are responsible for paying employer NICs and pension contributions. Where an employee is on flexible furlough, or also known as partial furlough, employers have to pay full pay for any hours worked.
The Government subsidy will continue at this level until 30th June 2021, but from 1st July, employers will be asked to contribute a percentage of their employees' wages as the scheme winds down.
1st July 2021 to 30th September 2021
For the month of July, the Government will contribute 70% of wages up to a maximum of £2,187.50 per month for unworked hours. The employer will also have to contribute 10% of wages so that the employee receives 80% of their usual wages for any hours not worked, (up to the cap of £2,500).
For August and September, the Government subsidy will drop to 60% up to a cap of £1,875 per month, with the employer having to top up the additional 20% so that the employee receives 80% of their wages (again, up to the cap of £2,500).
Employers must continue to pay the employer NICs and pension contributions on the Government subsidy for the hours not worked. Employers can also continue to choose to top up their employees’ wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense.
On or before 30th April 2021
For periods ending on or before 30th April 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 30th October 2020, as long as you have made an RTI submission to HMRC between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020, notifying HMRC of a payment made to that employee.
Employees made redundant, or who stopped working for you, after 23rd September 2020 can be rehired and placed on furlough under the scheme up until 30th April 2021. This is allowed as long as the employee was employed as of 23rd September 2020 and included in an RTI submission between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020.
On or after 1st May 2021
For periods starting on or after 1st May 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 2nd March 2021, as long as they were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission between 20th March 2020 and 2nd March 2021. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 2nd March 2021 to claim for periods starting on or after 1st May 2021.
The Government has not yet produced guidance for calculating hours for workers who were first on the payroll after 30th October 2020 but will do so shortly. This will only be relevant for workers furloughed for the first time from 1st May 2021 onwards.
Join the BrightPay team for a free webinar where they explore the upcoming changes to the furlough scheme, how BrightPay payroll software caters for CJRS and furlough, and answer any questions that you may have.