COVID-19: Changes to the furlough scheme from 1 July 2020

Following the government’s announcement earlier this month regarding changes to the furlough job retention scheme from 1 July 2020 until 31 October 2020, detailed guidance has now been released explaining the changes.

The full details can be found on the government website, a summary of the key points are as follows:
  • Claims for periods ending 30 June 2020 must be submitted to HMRC before 31 July 2020.
  • The scheme is closed to new entrants from 1 July, this means that the last day an employee could have been furloughed for the first time was 10 June, completing three consecutive weeks before 30 June 2020.
  • The maximum number of employees you can claim for from 1 July cannot exceed the maximum number of employees claimed for in any previous claim until 30 June.  Exception to this rule is employees returning from parental leave.
  • Until 1 July 2020 employees must be furloughed for a minimum of three consecutive weeks.  Employees may be furloughed more than once, but each furlough period must be a minimum of three weeks each time.  Where a previously furloughed employee starts a new furlough period before 1 July, this period must be a minimum of three weeks, whether or not the minimum period ends on or after 1 July.
    • Example provided by HMRC:  “A previously furloughed employee can start a new furlough period on 22 June which would have to continue for at least three consecutive weeks ending on or after 12 July.  After this the employee can then be flexibly furloughed for any period.”  
  • From 1 July employers cannot make claims that cross calendar months.
  • From 1 July under the flexible furlough agreements, the minimum period that you can claim furlough is seven calendar days.
  • From 1 July, you will also need to report to HMRC the number of hours usually worked, and the actual hours worked during the claim period.
  • From 1 August 2020 no grant will be available for Employers National Insurance or pension contributions on the amount paid for furlough.
  • If you flexibly furlough employees, you will need to agree this with the employee and keep a new written agreement that confirms the new furlough arrangement.
  • You are now able to report previous over-claims to HMRC through the claim portal but for any under-claims you will need to contact HMRC.
For further advice on this or any of the other support measures available to businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, please contact your local Moore adviser

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