Under the Job Retention Scheme, a furloughed employee is an employee who is not working by reason of circmstances as a result of coronavirus or coronavirus disease. An employer can claim up to 80% of their wages from HMRC – HMRC is setting up a new portal for employers to access this scheme.
The last day for employees to be placed on furlough is Wednesday 10 June 2020.
Yes. The position as to whether an employer can require an employee to take annual leave whilst furloughed has not been clarified by the government, but at present, there's nothing which prevents the employer giving them notice to take annual leave whilst furloughed.
The notice must be twice the number of days they are being requested to take. Any time spent on annual leave must be paid at the usual pay, not the 80% would be paid whilst on furlough.
It's unclear as to whether annual leave will break a period of furlough, so the safest position would be to ensure annual leave was taken after a 3 week block of furlough.
You can make a furloughed employee redundant – subject to usual redundancy rules and processes. You must pay employees their full statutory redundancy payment calculated in line with their full contractual pay as opposed to the pay they’ve received on furlough.
You must also ensure that your employees receive their notice pay or payment in lieu of notice (depending on the contract of employment) and payment equivalent to any accrued and outstanding holiday pay and other benefits up to the last date of employment. An employee can remain on furlough for the duration of their notice period, but if they are paid in lieu of notice, this payment cannot be recovered under the furlough scheme.
All SMEs and some larger businesses are eligible for the scheme although larger businesses will have to evidence that turnover has reduced due to Covid-19. Eligible businesses will have a UK PAYE scheme and a UK bank account.
An eligible employee will have to work at least a third of their normal working hours and have been on the employer’s PAYE scheme for RTI on or before 23 September 2020. Employee need not have been previously furloughed.
There have been four changes to SSP:
SSP has been extended to those employees who have been told to self-isolate under the new track and trace system. This is where a person has been notified that they have been in contact with a person with COVID-19 and therefore must self-isolate for 14 days, they will be entitled to be paid SSP.
If you're put at risk of redundancy, your employer has to follow a fair redundancy process and consult with you.
This is dependent on the size of your employer and how many employees are at risk of redundancy so you should take specific advice if you’re in this situation. The amount you are paid for redundancy is dependent upon your age, length or service and weekly salary.
If you’ve been advised to self-isolate because you or someone in your household has symptoms, you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
You may be entitled to company sick pay depending on your contract of employment. You are also entitled to SSP if you've been told to self isolate for 14 days under the track and trace scheme.
Being advised to self-isolate because you're vulnerable is not the same as self-isolating because you have symptoms or because someone in your household does, and you are therefore not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
You should speak to your employer about the option to work from home; if this isn’t possible you can ask your employer to furlough you. If you do not attend work, this must be in agreement with your employer.