Since our last article about “Flexible Furlough” (the latest phase of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which began on 1st July), the Government has published a third Treasury Direction. This Direction modifies the previous Directions of 15th April and 20th May 2020 and builds on and clarifies the existing Government guidance on Flexible Furlough.
We already knew (from previous Government guidance) that Flexible Furlough is only available for employers who participated in the original furlough scheme pre-July and in respect of employees who had already been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks by 1st July 2020 (i.e. who started furlough by 10th June 2020 at the latest).
There was one exception to this in the Government guidance, which allowed employees returning to work from family-related leave (i.e. maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental or parental bereavement leave) after 10th June 2020 to be furloughed, as long as their employer had used the furlough scheme for other employees by 10th June 2020. The latest Treasury Direction has now added a further exception, namely armed forces reservists returning from mobilisation after 10th June 2020.
How many employees can be claimed for?
As we mentioned in our last article, the number of employees you can claim for (in any single claim period) under the Flexible Furlough scheme cannot exceed the maximum number of employees you claimed for under any claim ending by 30th June 2020. This number can be increased by:
- the number of “returning employees” falling under the family-leave and reservist exemptions; and
- any employees who transferred to an employer under TUPE after 10th June 2020 if they were previously furloughed by their ex-employer.
How do I put a Flexible Furlough arrangement in place?
The Direction helpfully clarifies that a full written agreement is not required to agree a Flexible Furlough arrangement - it simply needs to be confirmed in writing (such as via letter/email) by an employer - and gives further guidance and examples to assist employers in undertaking the complex calculations involved with Flexible Furlough.
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These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.