More information has now been released by the government giving additional information on how the Furlough mechanism will work for both the calculation of the claim and how it can be claimed.
Below is the key information as shown on their website;
Please note that if we are operating payroll for you then we will assist with both the Furlough calculations and the reclaiming of the Furlough however they may be a fee in relation to this.
Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including:
· full-time employees
· part-time employees
· employees on agency contracts
· employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
To be eligible for the subsidy, when on furlough, an employee can not undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation. This includes providing services or generating revenue. While on furlough, the employee’s wage will be subject to usual income tax and other deductions.
If an employee is working, but on reduced hours, or for reduced pay, they will not be eligible for this scheme and you will have to continue paying the employee through your payroll and pay their salary subject to the terms of the employment contract you agreed.
Employers should discuss 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.
To be eligible for the subsidy employers should write to their employee confirming that they have been furloughed and keep a record of this communication.
Employees hired after 28 February 2020 cannot be furloughed or claimed for in accordance with this scheme.
You do not need to place all your employees on furlough. However, those employees who you do place on furlough cannot undertake work for you.
Employees on unpaid leave cannot be furloughed, unless they were placed on unpaid leave after 28 February.
Employees on sick leave or self-isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay, but can be furloughed after this.
Employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance can be placed on furlough.
If your employee has more than one employer they can be furloughed for each job. Each job is separate, and the cap applies to each employer individually.
Individuals who are on or plan to take Maternity Leave must take at least 2 weeks off work (4 weeks if they work in a factory or workshop) immediately following the birth of their baby. This is a health and safety requirement. In practice, most women start their Maternity Leave before they give birth.
If your employee is eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance, the normal rules apply, and they are entitled to claim up to 39 weeks of statutory pay or allowance.
Employees who qualify for SMP, will still be eligible for 90% of their average weekly earnings in the first 6 weeks, followed by 33 weeks of pay paid at 90% of their average weekly earnings or the statutory flat rate (whichever is lower). The statutory flat rate is currently £148.68 a week, rising to £151.20 a week from April 2020.
Employers need to make a claim for wage costs through this scheme.
You will receive a grant from HMRC to cover the lower of 80% of an employee’s regular wage or £2,500 per month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage. Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included.
At a minimum, employers must pay their employee the lower of 80% of their regular wage or £2,500 per month. An employer can also choose to top up an employee’s salary beyond this but is not obliged to under this scheme.
For full time and part time salaried employees, the employee’s actual salary before tax, as of 28 February should be used to calculate the 80%. Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included.
If the employee has been employed (or engaged by an employment business) for a full twelve months prior to the claim, you can claim for the higher of either:
· the same month’s earning from the previous year
· average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year
If the employee has been employed for less than a year, you can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work.
If the employee only started in February 2020, use a pro-rata for their earnings so far to claim.
Once you’ve worked out how much of an employee’s salary you can claim for, you must then work out the amount of Employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions you are entitled to claim.
All employers remain liable for associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on behalf of their furloughed employees.
Individuals are only entitled to the National Living Wage(NLW)/National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the hours they are working.
Therefore, furloughed workers, who are not working, must be paid the lower of 80% of their salary, or £2,500 even if, based on their usual working hours, this would be below NLW/NMW.
Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. Employers may need to seek legal advice on the process. If sufficient numbers of staff are involved, it may be necessary to engage collective consultation processes to procure agreement to changes to terms of employment.
To claim, you will need:
· your ePAYE reference number
· the number of employees being furloughed
· the claim period (start and end date)
· amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 weeks)
· your bank account number and sort code
· your contact name
· your phone number
You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRCwill retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.
You can only submit one claim at least every 3 weeks, which is the minimum length an employee can be furloughed for. Claims can be backdated until the 1st March if applicable.
Once HMRC have received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, they will pay it via BACS payment to a UK bank account.
You should make your claim in accordance with actual payroll amounts at the point at which you run your payroll or in advance of an imminent payroll.
You must pay the employee all the grant you receive for their gross pay, no fees can be charged from the money that is granted. You can choose to top up the employee’s salary, but you do not have to.
When the government ends the scheme, you must make a decision, depending on your circumstances, as to whether employees can return to their duties. If not, it may be necessary to consider termination of employment (redundancy).