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New quirks emerge for flexible coronavirus job scheme
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Coronavirus: Flexible furloughing framework

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With a revamped Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) lined up for 1 July, Kate Upcraft analyses the technical detail for potential troublespots.

2nd Jun 2020
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On Friday 29 May the Chancellor outlined a new flexible coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) to apply from 1 July, and tapered government support for employers from August onwards.

It was no surprise that financial support for employers will start to taper off, but it was a surprise that flexible furloughing will be introduced a month earlier than expected from 1 July.

Flexible furlough periods

This amounts to a new CJRS from 1 July, which requires no minimum furlough period. However, no new employees can be furloughed for the first time from July.

A furlough period for any employee who has not previously been furloughed will have to begin by 10 June in order for 21 days of furlough to be completed by the end of the old scheme on 30 June. It will not be acceptable for furlough to begin after that and extend into July to make a three-week furlough period, as the rules change on 1 July.

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Replies (21)

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blue sheep
By Nigel Henshaw
03rd Jun 2020 06:56

strange that employers were able to agree with employees to reduce pay to 80%, but that they cannot now agree to reduce to 70 and 60%

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Replying to NH:
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By neiltonks
03rd Jun 2020 08:27

The point is that the government wants employers to share the cost of furloughing. If the amount paid to employees could be reduced to match the government contribution, that objective wouldn't be achieved.

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By neiltonks
03rd Jun 2020 08:39

It will be interesting to see how the reporting of the hours is implemented. My guess (or maybe it's 'hope') is that it will be added to the information submitted with the claim.

If they change the FPS, but don't give details until Friday the 12th of June, they haven't much hope of payroll software support being in place in time given that first Friday of July is the 3rd, so the first July FPSs will be submitted around then.

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By ianvogan
03rd Jun 2020 10:28

It says that an employee cannot be furloughed for the first time after 1 July, but if an employee has been furloughed in May but brought back for six weeks can that employee be included in a furlough claim from 7 July?

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Replying to ianvogan:
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By Melanie O'Donnell
03rd Jun 2020 11:01

I have the exact same position, we have employees who have been on and off furlough according to our business needs and are currently working. Do we need to send everyone out on furlough on 10 June to be able to claim under the flexible scheme from 1st July - i.e. do they have to be on furlough for the three weeks IMMEDIATELY before 1st July to qualify? Or just been on furlough at any point since March?

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Replying to Melanie O'Donnell:
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By CatsandDogs
04th Jun 2020 09:03

I picked this up on Tuesday and managed to get a webchat with HMRC. I was advised that as long as an employee has been furloughed for 3 weeks between 1st March and 30th June, they can be brought back part time from 1st July. The employee does not need to be specifically furloughed between 10th and 30th June.
I have the transcript to prove it!

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Replying to CatsandDogs:
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By Melanie O'Donnell
04th Jun 2020 11:03

Thank you!

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By noggsy
03rd Jun 2020 10:50

If an employer (with staff currently furloughed) brings them off furlough prior to 10 June, does this prevent them from using the flexible furloughing come July 2020?
Thanks in advance!

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Replying to noggsy:
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By Constantly Confused
03rd Jun 2020 11:07

noggsy wrote:

If an employer (with staff currently furloughed) brings them off furlough prior to 10 June, does this prevent them from using the flexible furloughing come July 2020?
Thanks in advance!

My understanding is that so long as the employee has been furloughed for 3 weeks by the 30th of June, you are free to furlough them after the 30th.

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Replying to Constantly Confused:
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By Melanie O'Donnell
03rd Jun 2020 11:45

But do you mean ANY three weeks or the three weeks IMMEDIATELY prior to 1st July?

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Replying to Melanie O'Donnell:
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By Beancounter55
03rd Jun 2020 23:55

Any employee, who has been furloughed for at least a three week calendar period (21 days) prior to 1 July, can be furloughed in the months from July to October.

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By monksview
03rd Jun 2020 11:44

I have one furloughed employee who is still waiting for his NI number so no claim has been able to be made as yet. Bit unfair if the delays at the DWP causes him not to be able to have any funding if the deadline isn't met.

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Replying to monksview:
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By Robyn
03rd Jun 2020 13:27

By Monksview I spoke to HMRC yesterday as I am doing alot of claims for MArch to 30th June in middle of June to save time on claims and was worried about the 10th June comment. You will still be able to claim I was told and have a copy of the conversation saved. So no need to panic whenev er you get the NI number just make the claim then.

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Replying to monksview:
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By jules66
03rd Jun 2020 13:44

monksview wrote:

I have one furloughed employee who is still waiting for his NI number so no claim has been able to be made as yet. Bit unfair if the delays at the DWP causes him not to be able to have any funding if the deadline isn't met.


We have clients with missing NI numbers too. We have used NI number AB123456A and made sure that we have entered the payroll id for that employee. All claims have been paid so far.
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By johnfrancis
03rd Jun 2020 14:00

Great article - but is there any possibility of persuading AccountingWeb to STOP appending "get the details right" to a significant number of article links? It's getting a bit wearing.

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By johnfrancis
03rd Jun 2020 14:00

Great article - but is there any possibility of persuading AccountingWeb to STOP appending "get the details right" to a significant number of article links? It's getting a bit wearing.

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By North East Accountant
03rd Jun 2020 17:01

Looks like more nightmare months ahead.......

And next year we'll be dealing with all the compliance visits, employer errors, IR35 revisited and all the fallout from this pandemic.

And let's not forget October 2019 with the reverse charge for construction that will be a pain too.

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By chrisowen
03rd Jun 2020 17:20

Does anyone have the answer to this ?
I made a claim for the month of April, but entered the gross salary, instead of the 80% figure.
Of course, HMRC have refunded the gross figure, so we have been overpaid.
How to correct this ? The support line doesn't know. The obvious answer is to adjust the May claim downwards, but is it correct to do so?

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Replying to chrisowen:
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By CatsandDogs
04th Jun 2020 09:05

I have a call logged and HMRC will be calling me at some point to revise a couple of incorrect overpaid claims. On both occasions the client is no longer furloughing so I can't just adjust the next claim.

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By Hugo Fair
03rd Jun 2020 18:17

The concept of reporting “hours worked” and “usual hours” can IMHO only be intended to be achieved as additional data entered within the claim (whether the online form for smaller employers or an attached form).

HMRC has never created/published a specification change for RTI at the speed necessary from now to 12th June ... and software developers, as Neil Tonks has pointed out, aren't then going to deliver updated (and tested) software ready for use in less than 3 weeks.

Besides which, my understanding of why the new data items will be required is in order for the claim file to go through a new set of validations ... using the data to check the calculation of the amount claimed (and the pro-rating of cap applied where relevant) per part-furloughed worker.

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By AndrewV12
05th Aug 2020 13:41

'This amounts to a new CJRS from 1 July, which requires no minimum furlough period. However, no new employees can be furloughed for the first time from July.'

There were always going to be winners and losers.

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