On Friday 29 May the Chancellor announced the next steps to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). More details are expected from the government on 12 June, in the meantime, here are some key points and dates to note from the announcement:
- CJRS will close to new applicants from 30 June, with the last three-week furloughs before that point commencing on 10 June. Therefore 10 June is the final date for furloughing employees under CJRS for the first time.
- From 1 July, with the agreement of furloughed employees, employers will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part time with the aim of helping them return to work, and can still apply for 80% of the employees wages, capped at £2,500.
- From 1 August the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions.
- From 1 September the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
- From 1 October the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
Some practical considerations for employers
- After 10 June it is expected that you will not be able to add any more employees to the pool of those furloughed and therefore take advantage of the revised scheme of ‘flexible furloughing’. So if you are considering adding anyone to the pool, you will need to do this before 10 June and by agreement.
- By end of June the scheme, in its current form, won’t exist anymore, there will be a new scheme ‘flexible furloughing’ as described above.
- When the scheme changes and if you plan to bring back some workers part-time, you will need to agree these changes with employees and confirm this in writing as this is a change to their terms of employment.
- Are you ready to move to the new scheme? Have you considered the financial implications of having to make the required employer contributions as set out above and whether you have the cash flow available? Take time now to calculate what your liability as an employer will be in monetary terms so you can plan ahead.
- If you are considering a partial re-opening, be sure to check the government guidance and health and safety measures that you will need to have in place. Where it’s possible to continue new ways of working, such as home-working, that may still be a preferred option for you in some cases.
- If you are considering redundancies, always take advice. Contact us at email@example.com for support.
We will post a further update following the guidance that will be released on 12 June.
Further resources and support re CJRS and return to work plans
- SEISS and CJRS factsheet.
- Chancellor’s announcement on 29 May 2020.
- Return to Work Planner – courtesy of CIPD (The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development).
- Template Risk Assessment for Return to Work – courtesy of CIPD.
- Government sector specific guidance for Covid secure workplaces
- Bates Wells free webinar on 4 June – ‘furlough, next steps’.
- ACAS have published this new Redundancy Process Map, which helps you to also consider all the alternatives that may be available.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a specific query and would like 1:1 support on the above.
Statutory Sick Pay – update
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees. The HMRC portal for claiming Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for employees who are self-isolating due to coronavirus is now live. Further information and access to the portal is available here.