CJRS updates – flexible furlough from 1 July

These Q&As are designed to give you an overview of key points. They are not a substitute for professional HR or legal advice.

You can furlough an employee returning from family-related statutory leave after 10 June even if you are furloughing them for the first time, provided that:

  • They are not the only employee you have ever furloughed.
  • The employee you wish to furlough for the first time started maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity and parental bereavement leave before 10 June and has returned from that leave after 10 June.
  • The employee was on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020.

This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 19 March 2020.

This means that any claims for eligible employees returning from family-related statutory leave can be added to the maximum number of claims previously made.

Yes, but only if you have previously submitted a claim for them in relation to a furlough period of at least three consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

Yes, but only if you have previously submitted a claim for them in relation to a furlough period of at least three consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

Yes, but only if you have previously submitted a claim for them in relation to a furlough period of at least three consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

Employees who are self-isolating will be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (for up to two weeks) and should not be furloughed to cover a short-term absence. However, if employers want to furlough employees for business reasons and they are currently off sick, they are eligible to do so, as with other employees (as long as you have previously submitted a claim for them in relation to a furlough period of at least three consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March and 30 June 2020). In these cases, the employee should no longer receive sick pay and would be classified as a furloughed employee.

Yes, as long as the employees being claimed for have previously been furloughed by their previous employer for at least three consecutive weeks between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

From 1 July there is no minimum period, although any claim through the CJRS portal must be in respect of a minimum one-week period (that is, employers can only put in four claims a month, not 31).

Where a previously furloughed employee starts a new furlough period before 1 July this furlough period must be for a minimum of three consecutive weeks. For example, 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.

Employers will claim a prorated amount of 80 per cent of salary, based on the proportion of hours not worked out of normal working hours.

To calculate the normal working hours for those with fixed hours/pay, you simply take the number of hours worked in the pay period before 19 March 2020.

To calculate the normal working hours for those with variable pay, you take the higher of:

  • the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019–2020 or
  • the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019–2020.

Yes. If you flexibly furlough employees, you’ll need to agree this with the employee (or reach a collective agreement with a trade union) and keep a new written agreement that confirms the new furlough arrangement. In addition to the previous requirements (such as keeping the record for five years), you will also need to keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (in other words, not working).

After 1 July, employers cannot make claims that cross calendar months, so the employer will need to make a separate claim for the period up to 30 June and must do so by 31 July. There are rules about how and when claims can be made which the person processing payroll will need to understand in detail.

Yes. This has not changed. Furloughed employees can engage in training during hours which you record your employee as being on furlough. They can also:

  • volunteer for another employer or organisation
  • work for another employer (if contractually allowed).

For the periods of time an employee is being furloughed under the flexible arrangements, you cannot ask them to do any work for you that:

  • makes money for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation
  • provides services for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation.

For the periods of time an employee is being furloughed under the flexible arrangements, you cannot ask them to do any work for you that:

  • makes money for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation
  • provides services for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation.

The written record of the individual’s furlough agreement must be retained for five years. There may be several agreements if you have renewed an initial agreement and also made a new flexible furlough agreement.

You must keep a copy of all records for six years, including:

  • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
  • the claim reference number for your records
  • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
  • usual hours worked, including any calculations that were required, for employees you flexibly furloughed
  • actual hours worked for employees you flexibly furloughed.