Furlough – What you need to know

We would first of all like to start off saying sorry! Sorry we haven’t been in touch recently, with Covid-19 at the forefront of everyone’s minds, we’re here to help and support businesses through these unprecedented times, shining a light on emergency measures being put in place to safeguard UK businesses.

This has meant putting a halt on all press, social and blog activity since the pandemic broke to ensure we’re all hands-on deck to support our wonderful clients! As you can now tell we’re back on it and here to give you a dose of knowledge where we can.

Since Boris’s announcement on the 20th March 2020 insisting everyone is to stay at home and forcing pubs, restaurants and gyms to close we have seen a rapid increase in the use of furlough.

For those unsure of this scheme it essentially means that the Government will reimburse 80% of furloughed employees wages. The cost of this is capped at £2,500 per month, it’s also possible to backdate this to the 1st March 2020. This scheme is set to continue for at least three months and is available to all UK businesses.

Please head over to the Government website for a continual update on all things Covid-19.

So, how do you go about consulting and seeking agreement for furloughing?

You must seek employees’ agreement to place them on furlough and it is important to note that where you intend to furlough 20 or more employees, the existing rules in respect of collective consultation would still apply.  Should you need more advice specific to your business or a furlough leave agreement, please get in contact with us!

HMRC Guidance states: 

“To be eligible for the grant employers must confirm in writing to their employee confirming that they have been furloughed. If this is done in a way that is consistent with employment law, that consent is valid for the purposes of claiming the CJRS. There needs to be a written record, but the employee does not have to provide a written response. A record of this communication must be kept for five years.”  

HMRC seems to be quite happy to accept claims for reimbursement of 80% of salary without requiring evidence of the employee’s written agreement.  It is unlikely to change its approach.  

So, our advice is, where possible take the ‘best practice’, ‘belt and braces’ approach and get your written agreements signed and back from your employees, but if you haven’t got them back, or you’re finding it a total nightmare getting them back, you’re probably as well to leave it now and carry on making your claim.

Keep an eye out for our blogs as we’ll be updating you with real-time advice. Next to come is the effect of furlough leave on annual leave.

From the Cluer HR team (who are all working from home), we wish you a safe transition through these difficult times. As you know, we’re here to support you wherever possible and if you have any further questions or require any specific advice regarding Covid-19, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

Thank you.

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