The Flexible Furlough Scheme starts on 1 July 2020 as Stage II of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which is available to employers whose operations have been affected by COVID-19.
Under flexible furloughing, employees can now work some of the time (on their full pay) and be furloughed for the rest (on 80% of their pay), in any proportion agreed between employer and employee.
Employers however will only be able to claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March and 30 June 2020. The last date in which employers can furlough employees, who have not been furloughed previously, is 10 June. Employers also have the choice to keep their employees fully furloughed if there is no work for them to do.
Friday 31 July is the last day employers can submit claims for the periods ending on or before 30 June. These claims will be made under Stage I of the scheme. Two separate claims will need to be submitted for any June/July straddling furloughs, with furlough days up to 30 June to be included in the June claim.
Claims up to 30 June need to be submitted prior to claims from 1 July, due to rules about maximum numbers. In addition, claims cannot be made more than 14 days before the end date of a claim, so, for example, claims to 31 July cannot be made until at least 18 July.
Understanding all of these changes can be challenging, so if you have any questions or need some advice, feel free to contact a member of the Payroll team. HMRC have also helped by producing a step by step guide for employers which has been updated for flexible furlough. It has also issued detailed regulations for employers to follow. These may be beneficial to read.