Furlough Leave – New Information Update

We hope that you enjoyed the sunny weekend (from inside/a safe distance from others) and a very rare speech from the Queen!

During the weekend the government added further detail to their website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#who-can-claim relating to furlough leave and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Here’s what’s changed/been clarified:

  • employees can start a new job when on furlough (meaning they might end up earning 80% of the old salary and 100% of a new one).  This was not prohibited in the earlier guidance, but the new guidance expressly allows it.
  • an employer can reclaim 80% of compulsory (contractual) commission back from HMRC, as well as basic salary.  It can only be referring to the commission from past sales as the furloughed employees cannot be completing new sales when on furlough
  • employers can reclaim 80% of fees (whatever that means) from HMRC.  The previous guidance said they could not.
  • the 80% does not include non-monetary benefits (e.g. the value of health insurance or a car).
  • company directors can be furloughed. They can still perform their statutory duties, but not other work for the company.
  • employees can be furloughed multiple times; they can be furloughed, brought back to work, then re-furloughed (subject to each furlough period being at least three weeks).
  • employers must notify employees of their furlough status in writing (the previous guidance did not require it be in writing) and keep the record of that written notification for five years.

Lots of areas remain still remain unclear:

  • what do ‘statutory duties’ actually cover for company directors?
  • are employees who TUPE into a business after 28 February covered?
  • can employees take annual leave when on furlough, and what should they be paid?

At PSHR we continue to monitor the information daily and we will update you with new information as soon as we can.

In the meantime, if you would like advice and guidance, please contact your Consultant directly or call us on 01473 653000.



Take care!



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