Solutions For HR https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk Protecting you and your business Mon, 15 Jun 2020 09:22:06 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/cropped-Solutions-for-HR-Favicon-new-1-32x32.jpg Solutions For HR https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk 32 32 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/06/15/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-update/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/06/15/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-update/#respond Mon, 15 Jun 2020 08:44:07 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3301 The post Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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The CJRS guidance was updated on the 12th June 2020 and provides details on how the scheme will change from the 1st July 2020.

As of the 1st July, employees can work for some of the week and be furloughed for the rest.

The minimum three week period for furlough is removed (as of 1 July 2020).

There is no minimum period of furlough, although any CJRS claim must be in respect of a minimum one week period (so employers can only put in four claims a month).

The first time you will be able to make claims for days in July will be 1st July, you cannot claim for periods in July before this point.

31st July is the last day that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 30th June.

From 1st July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.

From 1st August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month.

To be eligible for the grant employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed.

This means a “top-up” in September and October.

The timetable for changes to the scheme is set out below.

Wage caps are proportional to the hours an employee is furloughed.

For example, an employee is entitled to 60% of the £2,500 cap if they are placed on furlough for 60% of their usual hours:

  • There are no changes to grant levels in June.
  • For June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours the employee is on furlough, as well as employer National Insurance Contributions (ER NICS) and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work.
  • For August, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough.
  • For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
  • For October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.

The table shows Government contribution, required employer contribution and amount employee receives where the employee is furloughed 100% of the time.

Wage caps are proportional to the hours not worked.

Employers will have to pay their employees for the hours worked.

furlough Government contribution table

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SSP for Test and Trace https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/06/01/ssp-for-test-and-trace/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/06/01/ssp-for-test-and-trace/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2020 11:12:47 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3296 The post SSP for Test and Trace appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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Entitlement to statutory sick pay has been extended to people who have been told to self-isolate under the new NHS Test and Trace service.

The Test and Trace system means that those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted to share their recent contacts and must isolate for 14 days even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, “If you are instructed by the NHS, for public health reasons, to stay at home then that is the equivalent in employment law to being ill and it is very important that employers are flexible about this.”

Employers are encouraged to risk assess their workplaces and consider contingency planning in case employees are forced to take 2 weeks off work without notice.

Make it clear to all employees that they must inform you if they have been asked to self-isolate and that they must comply with this request.

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Changes to the CJRS https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/06/01/changes-to-the-cjrs/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/06/01/changes-to-the-cjrs/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2020 11:00:59 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3293 The post Changes to the CJRS appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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On Friday 29th May the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced important updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

In June and July, the government will continue paying 80% of furloughed people’s wages, up to the maximum cap of £2,500.

From July flexibility will be introduced, one month earlier than planned, supporting part-time work.

For employers who want to place new employees on the current scheme, they will need to do so by 10 June to allow time to complete the minimum furlough period.

From 1st August the government will continue to pay 80% of employee’s wages and employers will only be asked to cover national insurance and employer pension contributions.

In September the government will pay 70% of furloughed people’s salaries, with employers contributing 10% to ensure that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary.

Employers will also pay national insurance and employer pension contributions.

In the final month of October, the government will contribute 60% of employee’s wages with employers contributing 20%.

Employers will also pay national insurance and employer pension contributions.

The government have also put in place a flexible furlough scheme allowing employers to bring furloughed staff back on a part-time basis from 1st July, a month earlier than originally planned.

Full details of the scheme changes are due to be published very soon.

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The right to emergency volunteering leave https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/05/26/the-right-to-emergency-volunteering-leave/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/05/26/the-right-to-emergency-volunteering-leave/#respond Tue, 26 May 2020 10:40:07 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3286 The post The right to emergency volunteering leave appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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The Coronavirus Act 2020 provides a new statutory right to take unpaid emergency volunteering leave (EVL).

This leave provides employees with time off to assist an “appropriate authority” in the health or social care sector, for example, the NHS or their local council.

In order to exercise their right to EVL, an employee first needs to obtain an emergency volunteering certificate from the appropriate authority.

EVL can only be taken in blocks of two, three or four consecutive weeks and to date, the leave can only be taken up to the 16th July 2020.

This may well be extended.

Employees must give you written notice of EVL no later than three working days before it’s due to commence and unless you employ fewer than 10 employees, you must agree to the request.

Terms and conditions care protected during EVL.

EVL is unpaid but similarly to jury service, employees can claim compensation from the government for loss of earnings, travelling and subsistence.

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Do I have to agree to a leave request cancellation? https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/05/26/do-i-have-to-agree-to-a-leave-request-cancellation/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/05/26/do-i-have-to-agree-to-a-leave-request-cancellation/#respond Tue, 26 May 2020 10:29:09 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3283 The post Do I have to agree to a leave request cancellation? appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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A fair few holiday plans have fallen through because of the pandemic and an employee has asked to cancel their previously booked annual leave and take this time off at a later date.

Do you have to agree?

Quite often employees believe that they have an automatic right to cancel holiday plans but this is not the case unless your policy says they do.

Once a holiday is booked, you don’t have to agree to a cancellation, meaning you can enforce that holidays are taken as originally planned.

We recommend you decide what your policy is going to be and apply this consistently.

Agreeing to cancellations may cause any number of potential issues later down the line including a shortage of staff when you need them most and a build up of annual leave to be taken at the end of your holiday year.

It is also worth remembering that you can also require employees to take holiday during furlough, subject to giving appropriate notice which is twice the period of the leave request.

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Written agreement to furlough not required https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/05/26/written-agreement-to-furlough-not-required/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/05/26/written-agreement-to-furlough-not-required/#respond Tue, 26 May 2020 10:13:07 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3280 The post Written agreement to furlough not required appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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Employers do not have to get an employee’s written agreement to furlough

A Treasury Direction last week finally gave clarity on whether an employer must receive a written agreement from an employee that they are to cease work under the furlough scheme in order to make a valid claim under the CJRS.

This has remained unclear since the start of the scheme, as a Treasury Direction stated that the employer and employee had to agree in writing, whereas HMRC guidance stated that, while there needed to be a written record of the agreement, the employee did not have to provide a written response.

To prevent future issues, a best practice approach of gaining consent had been applied to date.

However, thankfully, a further Treasury Direction has just been published which corresponds with the HMRC guidance and confirms that an employee has been instructed by their employer to cease working for them if:

“The employer and employee have agreed that the employee will cease all work in relation to their employment,

The agreement:-

(i) specifies the main terms and conditions upon which the employee will cease all work in relation to their employment,

(ii) is incorporated (expressly or impliedly) in the employee’s contract, and

(iii) is made in writing or confirmed in writing by the employer (such agreement or confirmation may be in an electronic form such as an email).

Employers can now be assured that for those employees who haven’t responded in writing to their furlough letter or email, there will not be a problem with the CJRS claim as long as the letter sets out that they will cease all work for the employer during the period of furlough.

These records do have to be kept for a minimum of 5 years in the event of an HMRC audit.

Further information on the direction can be found in this PDF document.

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Updated Furlough and Holiday Guidance https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/05/14/updated-furlough-and-holiday-guidance/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/05/14/updated-furlough-and-holiday-guidance/#respond Thu, 14 May 2020 11:19:33 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3270 The post Updated Furlough and Holiday Guidance appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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The Government published some helpful guidance

The Government published some helpful guidance yesterday confirming the situation around holidays whilst on furlough.

The guidance confirms that:

  • Employers can require employees to take holiday during furlough, subject to giving appropriate notice
  • Employers can also cancel holiday during furlough subject to the same notice requirements
    contractual holiday continues to accrue and not just statutory
  • Workers on furlough can take holiday whilst furloughed without it affecting the furlough period
  • Holidays and bank holidays taken during furlough must be paid at the full contractual rate
  • In situations where workers are unable to take their 4 weeks statutory leave due to the impact of coronavirus, they can carry this forwards for up to two years.

The full guidance is available at:

Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus

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Extension of the Furlough Scheme https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/04/18/extension-of-the-furlough-scheme/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/04/18/extension-of-the-furlough-scheme/#respond Sat, 18 Apr 2020 15:23:29 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3256 The post Extension of the Furlough Scheme appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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Extension of the Furlough Scheme until 30th June and some clarification on holidays

Unsurprisingly on the 17th April, the Chancellor confirmed an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by one month to reflect continuing social distancing measures.

The furlough scheme will now run until the 30th June 2020, providing government grants to support wage costs of 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500.

The extension comes after mounting pressure from the Confederation of British Industry on behalf of large businesses who would have had to start collective redundancy consultations on the 17th April in order to meet the 45 day minimum consultation requirement for terminations in excess of 100 employees at the original planned end of the furlough scheme on the 31st May.

The timescales just haven’t provided enough planning and preparation time for big businesses, especially navigating the practicalities of how consultation can take place with representatives during lock down or with employees who are furloughed.

At least now there is slightly more breathing space..

More information can be found at:

Chancellor extends furlough scheme to end of June

In addition, the Government has provided some clarity on the big questions around holidays during furlough.

The Employee only guidance has been updated to confirm:

  • Annual leave will continue to accrue
  • Employees can take holiday and bank holidays whilst on furlough (paid at the full contractual rate) and although the advice is silent on whether or not this will affect the furlough period, we view this latest advice as advising not
  • That employers will be obliged to pay the additional amounts over the grant, which supports that the grant can be claimed for a period of holiday entitlement

The Government have however caveated their guidance by stating that this is an “unprecedented time, (and are) keeping the policy on holiday pay during furlough under review”.

So, things may change.

Further information can be found at:

Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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Job Retention Scheme Date Change https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/04/15/job-retention-scheme-date-change/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/04/15/job-retention-scheme-date-change/#respond Wed, 15 Apr 2020 14:38:55 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3252 The post Job Retention Scheme Date Change appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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HMRC has just announced that the qualifying date for employees to have been on the employer’s payroll to be eligible to be furloughed is now the 19th March 2020. 

This has changed from the previously published 28th February and is now one day prior to when the Chancellor announced the job retention scheme.

The Government have listened – although sometime later – but it now means that a number of people who previously fell out of scope for the scheme can now be included. 

The full guidance is updated on Gov.UK:

Claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

It is worth a read and a refresh. 

Other amends include the way you calculate the amount of salary for the furlough pay.

The 80% claim is now based on their salary as in their last pay period prior to 19 March 2020.

For employers who have already calculated claims based on their employee’s salary as of 28 February 2020, they can choose to still use this calculation for their first claim.

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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Updates https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/04/09/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-updates/ https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/2020/04/09/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-updates/#respond Thu, 09 Apr 2020 11:36:17 +0000 https://www.solutionsforhr.co.uk/?p=3246 The post Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Updates appeared first on Solutions For HR.

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1. We understand that HMRC has told a Parliamentary Select Committee that the online portal for furlough reimbursements will be operational from the 20th April with the first payments made on 30 April.

It is likely that your claims will run in line with your pay periods (i.e. weekly, two weekly or monthly) and you should be able to make your claim 14 days ahead of your pay period – so on a monthly pay period of the 28th of the month, you can submit your claim on the 14th.

We expect this to be confirmed next week along with guidance.

2. HMRC are indicating that there will be an “employee hotline” in operation allowing employees to “shop” their employers who are asking them to work whilst furlough.

In addition, as HMRC are requiring employers to keep furlough confirmation records for 5 years, we expect that their auditing may last for this length of time.

Any anomalies could affect your entire furlough pay claims and could result in fraud charges.

3. There remain lots of unanswered questions on holidays during furlough however ACAS has revised its guidance which can be found here Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees. Using holiday.

They confirm that holidays can be taken during furlough and this is supported by a recent tweet from HMRC customer support who say that holidays and bank holidays can still be taken and must be paid at the full contractual rate.

Unfortunately, questions such as whether any holiday taken breaks the three week furlough cycle remain unanswered.

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