Employee Retention Scheme (Furlough Leave)

Coronavirus employee retention scheme guidance is now out. This describes the circumstances where employer applications for the furlough payments can be made. Not all questions are answered and we do not know if there will be legislation to back this up.

Here’s our summary:

  1. public sector employers (where wages are still being funded by government) are not expected to use it
  2. publicly funded yet not public sector employers are not expected to use it either
  3. employees including zero hours employees can be claimed for
  4. no work can be undertaken except training
  5. employees need to be on payroll on or by 28 Feb 2020 for it to apply
  6. employees on sick or self isolating cannot be furloughed until after their isolation
  7. furloughed employees are allowed to volunteer
  8. if a furloughed employee is training, they should be paid at least NMW/NLW even if that takes them above the 80%
  9. Statutory Maternity Pay (and related paternity/adoption pay) operates as normal
  10. contractual maternity payments made in addition to SMP is eligible to be claimed by employers under this scheme
  11. employers can claim 80% or £2500 (whichever is lower) plus NICs and statutory minimum pension contributions
  12. for staff with variable pay, use the previous month the previous year or annual average
  13. furlough should apply in 3 week blocks
  14. there is nothing to stop employees being furloughed on rotation
  15. wages of furloughed employees are subject to usual tax and NI

The full guidance can be found here:

Please contact our team below if you have any questions regarding this or any other issue and keep abreast of all the latest Coronavirus law changes at our COVID-19 portal.