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  • Re: Employee charged back for furlough

    Hi

    Thank you for your query about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

    For claim periods relating to November, employers can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period, however grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.

    For claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, employers cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which the furloughed employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period for the employer (this includes people serving notice of retirement or resignation).

    If an employee subsequently starts a contractual or statutory notice period on a day covered by a previously submitted claim, the employer will need to make an adjustment.

    If an employee is made redundant, statutory redundancy and statutory notice pay should be based on the employees normal wage rather than the reduced furlough wage.

    Details can be found on GOV.UK online at:

    Furlough and redundancy

    If the employee is entitled to more pay during their notice period than is covered by the grant, then the employer must make up any difference.

    If you would like further advice, you may want to contact the CJRS helpline on 0800 024 1222 operating Monday to Friday - 8am to 4pm.

    We will be happy to help.

    Alternatively, you can use our online webchat, which can be found here:

    Get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    Regards.
  • RE: Furlough and Holidays

    Hi Karen

    Thank you for your query about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and calculations.

     

    I hope you will appreciate there is not enough information to say whether the calculation is correct.

     

    It may help if I explain that an employee is entitled to their full, current contracted rate for the time they are using annual leave.

    The employer can still claim 80% under CJRS (provided a furlough agreement is in place) but needs to make up the difference from its own funds.

     

    For background, employees can take holiday whilst on furlough.

    If an employee is flexibly furloughed, then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.

     

    Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday.

    This means that employees should only be placed on furlough because their employers operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and not just because they are on paid leave.

     

    The employer and employee can agree to vary holiday entitlement as part of the furlough agreement, however almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory paid annual leave each year which they cannot go below.

     

    Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough.

    Working Time Regulations (WTR) require holiday pay to be paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay or, where the rate of pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay received by the employee in the previous 52 working weeks. So, if a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay them their usual holiday pay in accordance with the WTR.

     

    Employers will be obliged to pay additional amounts over the CJRS grant, though will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need.

    This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period.

    Regards.

     

  • RE: Furlough and Holidays

    Hi Davy Boy

    Thank you for your query about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and holiday pay.

    The employer and employee can agree to vary holiday entitlement as part of the furlough agreement, however almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory paid annual leave each year which they cannot go below.

    Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough.

    Working Time Regulations (WTR) require holiday pay to be paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay or, where the rate of pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay received by the employee in the previous 52 working weeks.

    So, if a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay them their usual holiday pay in accordance with the WTR. Employers will be obliged to pay additional amounts over the CJRS grant, though will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need.

    This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period.

    Further details can be found online at:
     

    Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Regards.

  • RE: Furlough and Holidays

    Hi Kentish Girl

    Thank you for your query about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

    When claiming under the CJRS extension, employers will need to agree a furlough or flexible furlough agreement with the employee, and although the agreement can last any amount of time the employer must report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.

    Where consistent with employment law, any flexible furlough or furlough agreement made retrospectively that has effect from 1 November 2020 will be valid for the purposes of a CJRS claim if it is made according to the conditions above.

    Only retrospective agreements put in place up to and including the 13 November 2020 may be relied on for the purposes of a CJRS claim.

    Any grant paid must be used to pay wages to furloughed employees and should be treated in the same way as any wage payment and is subject to all payroll deductions.Employers must have confirmed in writing to their employee that they had been furloughed.

    If this was done in a way that was consistent with employment law, that consent is valid for the purposes of claiming the CJRS.

    Collective agreement reached between an employer and a trade union is also acceptable for the purpose of such a claim.

    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.

    Employers should discuss furlough arrangements with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement.

    When employers are making decisions in relation to the process, including deciding who to offer furlough to, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.

    An employer should make the best decision for their organisation and their employees.

    Standard discrimination law applies, you cannot decide who should be furloughed on the basis of any protected characteristic.

    1. is acceptable and encouraged to consult on the process with employees. Some may have reason to want to be furloughed, others may have reasons not to be.

    Existing legislation means that furloughed employees continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract.

    The employer and employee can agree to vary holiday entitlement as part of the furlough agreement, however almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory paid annual leave each year which they cannot go below.

    Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough. Working Time Regulations (WTR) require holiday pay to be paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay or, where the rate of pay varies, calculated based on the average pay received by the employee in the previous 52 working weeks.

    Therefore, if a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay them their usual holiday pay in accordance with the WTR.

    Employers will be obliged to pay additional amounts over the CJRS grant, though will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need.

    This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period.

    If an employee usually works bank holidays, then the employer can agree this is included in the grant payment.

    If the employee usually takes the bank holiday as leave, then the employer would either have to top up their pay to their usual holiday pay or give the employee a day of holiday in lieu.

    Paid annual leave over the Christmas period should be treated in the same way as any other period of paid annual leave.

    The position on paid annual leave is unchanged in the CJRS Extension.

     

    Please refer to the full guidance for details, but in summary:

    • It is possible for employees to take annual leave while they are on furlough, and this should be agreed in the normal way
    • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published guidance on annual leave during COVID-19 pandemic. Further details can be found online at:
      Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • However, employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period
      It is a matter between the employer and the employee how the deductions made for furlough pay adjustments is addressed.
    • If you are concerned your employer is abusing the scheme, you can report them to us anonymously via our online fraud reporting tool here:
    • Report fraud to HMRC
  • RE: Furlough and Holidays

    Hi Anonymous 2098


    Thank you for your query about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

    Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough.

    If an employee is flexibly furloughed, then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.

    Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday.

    This means employees should only be placed on furlough because their employers operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and not just because they are on paid leave.

    This also applies during peak leave periods in late December and early January.

     

    Further details can be found online at:

    Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19)

    The CJRS forms part of a collective national effort to protect people’s jobs.

    Employees can play a vital role by reporting fraudulent claims to us.

    Fraudulent claims risk the provision of public services and the protection of livelihoods.

    This could include employers claiming on an employee’s behalf and not then paying them what they are entitled to, asking employees to do work whilst on furlough, or making a backdated claim that includes times when workers were working.

    If you are concerned that your employer is abusing the scheme, you can report them anonymously to us via our online fraud reporting tool here:
     

    Report fraud to HMRC

    We will check claims made through the scheme.

    Payments may be withheld or need to be repaid in full to us if the claim is based on dishonest or inaccurate information or found to be fraudulent.

    Regards.

  • RE: Furlough - variable pay calculation

    Hi Andrew Simmons

    Thank you for your query about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and overtime payments.

    Employees can be on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.

    As set out in the guidance, the amount an employer should use when calculating 80% of their employees’ wages is regular payments they are obliged to make, including:

    • regular wages you pay to employees
    • non-discretionary overtime
    • non-discretionary fees
    • non-discretionary commission payments
    • piece rate payments

    An employer cannot include the following when calculating wages:

    • payments made at the discretion of the employer or a client - where the employer or client was under no contractual obligation to pay, including:
    • tips, including those distributed through troncs
    • discretionary bonuses
    • discretionary commission payments
    • non-cash payments
    • non-monetary benefits like benefits in kind (such as a company car) and salary sacrifice schemes (including pension contributions) that reduce an employees’ taxable pay

    The entirety of the grant received to cover an employee’s subsidised furlough pay must be paid to them in the form of money. No part of the grant should be netted off to pay for the provision of benefits or a salary sacrifice scheme.

    • If your employee has been paid variable payments due to working overtime, you can include these payments when calculating 80% of their wages as long as the overtime payments were non-discretionary.
    • Payments for overtime worked are non-discretionary when you are contractually obliged to pay the employee at a set and defined rate for the overtime that they have worked.

    Further details can be found online at:

    Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
    Regards

  • RE: EMPLOYEES ON FURLOUGH

    Hi Linnie Jones

    Thank you for your query about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

    To qualify for a grant under the CJRS, an employee must have been notified to us on a Real Time Information submission on or before 19 March 2020, and that submission must relate to a payment of earnings in the 2019/20 tax year.

    The way an employer should work out 80% of their employee’s usual wages for the purposes of the CJRS is different depending on the way they’re paid.

    For employees who are paid at a fixed rate, whether full-time or part-time, the calculation is based on their last pay period before 19 March 2020.

    For employees whose pay varies, where the employee has been employed continuously from the start of the 2019 to 2020 tax year, an employer can claim the highest of either:

    • 80% of the same month’s wages from the previous year (up to a maximum of £2,500 a month)
    • 80% of the average monthly wages for the 2019 to 2020 tax year (up to a maximum of £2,500 a month)

    For employees who are flexibly furloughed, the number of furlough hours that a CJRS grant can be claimed for depends on the employee’s usual hours prior to being furloughed.

    The number of usual hours is ascertained using similar calculations to those for pay described above.

    We published guidance to help employers calculate the grant available under the CJRS, this includes a calculator that can be used to work out what an employer can claim for most employees who are paid under either regular or variable amounts:
     

    Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    Your employer is responsible for claiming through the scheme on your behalf and for paying you what you are entitled to.

    If you are concerned your employer is abusing the scheme, you can report them anonymously to us via our online fraud reporting tool here:

    Report fraud to HMRC

    If you have any further questions on this matter, details on how to contact us about CJRS can be found online at:
    Get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    Regards

  • RE: EMPLOYEES ON FURLOUGH

    Hi Heather Robb

    Thank you for your query about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

    Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough.

    Working Time Regulations (WTR) require holiday pay to be paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay or, where the rate of pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay received by the employee in the previous 52 working weeks.

    So, if a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay them their usual holiday pay in accordance with the WTR.

    Employers will be obliged to pay additional amounts over the CJRS grant, though will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need.

    This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period.

    However, employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday.

    This means that employees should only be placed on furlough because their employers operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and not just because they are on paid leave.

    This also applies during peak leave periods in late December and early January.

    Employers will continue to able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense if they wish.

    However, there is no requirement for the employer to cover the additional 20% of pay or amount above the cap.

    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published guidance on annual leave during COVID-19 pandemic.

    Further details can be found online at:

     

    Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19)

    I hope you find this reply helpful.

  • RE: Impact of NMW NLW increases on furloughed employees

    Hi BRADY99

    Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and can continue to train whilst on furlough.

    Employers must pay their Apprentices at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage/National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage as appropriate for all the time they spend training.

    For the extended scheme from 1 November, we appreciate that a minority of employees may have seen an increase in earnings over the COVID period but others have not.

    To be fair to all claimants, the default reference pay period for those employees in continuous employment has remained as that of the pre-COVID period.

    This means that for the greatest number of employees and employers, it is not necessary to recalculate the basis of the claim.

    This means individuals can sustain 80% of their pre-COVID income, up to a maximum grant of £2,500 per month.

    The pre-COVID pay reference period is used for all individuals who were employed then.

    To move away from a pre-COVID reference period would complicate the scheme, increase the burden on employers and could be seen as unfair to the majority of employees who were in a better position before COVID.

    We understand this has been a difficult time for many.

     Further information about additional support available can be found at:

    Work and financial support

    and

     

    Business support

    Thankyou.

    Regards.
  • RE: Furloughing a second time

    Hi

    The original policy design of the CJRS was to sustain individuals at 80% of their pre-COVID income, up to a maximum grant of £2,500 per month.

    The default reference pay period to calculate CJRS has stayed the same as the pre-COVID period.

    The pre-COVID pay reference period is used for all individuals who were employed then.

    This means that for the greatest number of employees and employers, it is not necessary to recalculate the basis of the claim.

    To move away from a pre-COVID reference period would complicate the scheme, increase the burden on employers and could be seen as unfair to the majority of employees who were in a better position before COVID.

    Individuals can get a job with a different employer while on furlough as long as this is allowed within the terms of your existing employment contract.

    You should check with your employer.

    If you are on a Zero Hour Contract, your employer cannot prevent you from working for another employer.

    Similarly, if you are an agency worker, your employment business cannot prevent you registering with another employment business.

    Further details can be found online at:

    Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    Thankyou.

    Regards.