Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 26

Flexible Furlough Scheme

Tomorrow (10th June) is the last day you can place employees on furlough as the furlough scheme closes to new entrants on the 30th June.

Current guidance state you will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June.

This would seem to indicate that provided an employee has been furloughed for at least 3 weeks at any point before 30th June 2020 they can be furloughed again from 1st July onwards.

The wording however is still sufficiently wide to enable a different interpretation.  It could be read to only allow those who were on furlough for 3 weeks or more  on 30th June to be eligible to be furlough from 1st July onwards.

In additional the government’s factsheet indicates there could be a limit imposed on the number of employees that can be furloughed from 1st July onwards.   It states that from 1st July onwards the number of employees you can claim for in any claim period cannot exceed the maximum number they have claimed for under any previous claim under the current CJRS.

Unhelpfully the HMRC guidance that will provide information on how flexible furlough will work will not be published until Friday 12th June.   (It looks like it could be a late Friday night for me and other employment lawyers as we try and decipher the new guidance.)

Until that guidance is published then the only safe course of action for you, as an employer, is to ensure that you have as many employees on furlough leave on the 10th June onwards until the new rules are known.

To help you make right decisions and to be ready for flexible furlough Hethertons are holding a free webinar on Monday 15th June at 2 p.m.  

If you want to join me please click HERE to find out more details and to register.

Quarantine after Foreign Travel

Yesterday saw the start of the 14 day quarantine requirements for those entering the UK from outside the Common Travel Area (The Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man).

Currently the quarantine period will not count as sickness.  SSP and/or company sick pay will not therefore be payable.

Before your employees book or go ahead with the summer holiday plans you will need to decide on your policy as their employer and communicate this to your employee.

You options could include:

  • allowing additional leave to be used;
  • allowing working from home;
  • allowing unpaid leave;
  • allowing an employee to ‘borrow’ leave from next year’s leave entitlement

It is important that you discuss the options with your employee’s at an early stage so you and they can plan what is best for your employees.  It looks like it’s going to be a day trip to Skegness for the Scott family this year.

David Scott will keep you updated as more guidance is issued by the government.