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8 June 2020 0 Comments
Posted in Health & Social Care, Opinion

Key dates for care providers using the furlough scheme

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With approximately 8.4m jobs furloughed, roughly ¼ of the total jobs in the UK, and 1m employers furloughing, costing the Government £15bn, it was inevitable that some changes would have to be made to the furlough scheme. However, the announcements are less draconian than many had feared.

Key dates for care providers

The Scheme has been extended until the end of October but, in its current form, will end on 30 June. Here are the key dates for the remainder of the Scheme.

10 June 2020

Deadline for anyone being furloughed for the first time to be in the scheme. You can only claim for employees who have been furloughed for a minimum of three weeks prior to 30 June 2020.

1 July 2020

New flexible furlough scheme begins allowing furloughed employees to work for their employer while furloughed. Guidance with full details is expected in June. You will pay wages and NI and pension contributions for hours worked and the Scheme will cover the remainder. The cap will be reduced in proportion to the hours not worked.

If no part-time working, the Government will continue to pay the full 80% contribution (up to £2,500 per month) as well as NI and pension contributions for June and July 2020.

1 August 2020

The first step of the wages contribution tapering process will begin. You will pay NI and pension contributions for furloughed staff for hours not worked.

1 September 2020

The government contribution will reduce to 70%, up to a maximum of £2,187.50 per month, and you will be required to pay the remaining 10% of wages for unworked hours plus all NI and pension contributions.

1 October 2020

The Government will pay 60% of furloughed employees’ wages, up to a maximum of £1,875 per month, and you will pay the balance of 20% of wages for unworked hours plus all NI and pension contributions.

31 October 2020

Scheme ends.

Practical considerations for care providers

The winding down of the Scheme raises a number of potential questions for care providers, including:

  • Can you afford to keep staff furloughed through August to September when you are required to contribute to the costs of the Scheme?
  • What are the implications for shielding and high risk staff of being brought back from furlough leave, if they are still unable to attend work?
  • What is the pay entitlement of those brought back from furlough leave?
  • To what extent can you use the Infection Control Fund to pay for some of the additional costs arising from the ending of furlough leave?
  • Will you require staff to take accrued holiday leave during the remainder of furlough leave? Although it will cost you more to top up holiday pay to 100% from 1 September (due to the Government’s reduced contribution to furlough pay) it would still represent a financial saving compared to staff taking holiday after furlough leave ends, when you will have to pay the full 100% of wages.
  • Do you need to consider potential redundancies? If you are making more than 20 redundancies you will need to collectively consult for 30 days (or 45 days if 100 or more redundancies).

For advice on planning for the next stages of the furlough scheme, please contact James Sage, Partner in our Employment team and Head of Health & Social Care on:

07508 297 597     Email usjames.sage@roydswithyking.com

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