Extension of Furlough Scheme
The current terms of the furlough scheme will remain unchanged until the end of June but from 1 July onwards it will allow greater flexibility to phase furloughed employees back to work.
Part-Time Option From July
While the finer details have yet to emerge, the Chancellor said this “greater flexibility” would enable employers currently using the scheme to bring workers back part-time. Employers who choose to do this will be asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff, which will replace the government’s contribution.
But as always, the devil is in detail, as Blick Rothenberg’s Heather Self raised: “Enabling part-time work is welcome, as it will permit a gradual return to work. But the Chancellor said this would only be available to businesses ‘currently using’ the scheme – it is not clear what the cut-off date will be for businesses still considering whether they need to furlough employees.”
Employers Sharing the Costs
The government will also ask employers to share the costs of paying people’s salaries and more details about the extension will follow by the end of May. With the original end of June cut-off creeping closer, employers were looking to the Chancellor today for clarity on the furlough scheme before the 45-day redundancy consultancy period kicked in.
If you would like to discuss how the extension of the furlough scheme affects your business, please contact us. We’re happy to help.