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Casual workers - calculation of furlough pay

Unsure how to calculate average pay

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My client has a worker who will be furloughed - they are a casual employee, and have been on the payroll for a couple of years. They worked from April 2018 to Sept 2018, and then not again until Sept 2019 (but were still on the payroll). From September 2019 they worked every month. Do I calculate the average pay for 2019-20 as the total for the year divided by 7 months (Sept-Mar) or do I have to divide by 12 months, as the worker was "on the payroll" during that time even though they were not being paid for the first 5 months of the tax year?

In contrast, my employer has an employee who they took on in September who worked every month, whose average pay will obviously be the total for the year divided by 7 months.

Any suggestions would be most welcome - if I follow the guidance to the letter, I would assume I need to divide by 12, but as this doesn't fit the employee's pattern of work, this doesn't seem right.

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By paul.benny
08th Apr 2020 13:05

The guidance doesn't address this at present.

My opinion is that it would be right to ignore months with nil pay - but you'll have to wait until more detail is available.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By sparkler
08th Apr 2020 13:07

Thanks for this. I had hoped to give my client an indication of how much they could expect to receive, so I will hold on until the guidance is broadened to address this point!

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By kestrepo
08th Apr 2020 14:33

Given the lack of guidance how you come to the amount due under the JRS / Furlough scheme is up to you - but should be made knowing that in hindsight you may have made the wrong calculation! I have been suggesting a previous 12 weeks or 3 month average method excluding one off bonuses, commissions etc but at the moment it is up to you to decide and ultimately justify if you are ever asked to do so in the future.

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By NYB
08th Apr 2020 19:39

I divided by 12 months. I take the opinion that if I am called to explain I can justify what i have done. Its all so unclear and I am having to get on with payrolls now. Not wait for some guidance that may not come.

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