Owner Kate Upcraft Consultancy Ltd
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Revised furlough scheme from 1 July: What you need to know

HMRC amended eight pieces of guidance regarding the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) on 12 June 2020. Kate Upcraft looks at what this means for employers who wish to furlough employees from 1 July.

15th Jun 2020
Owner Kate Upcraft Consultancy Ltd
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I am only considering the calculations of new CJRS claims for July 2020 in this article and highlighting the points of difference with the existing CJRS.

The rules will change again from 1 August when no pension costs or employer’s NIC will be reclaimable. In September and October, the amount of wages which can be claimed will also reduce. I will look at those future changes in later articles.

Claim periods

There is effectively a new CJRS in place for furlough periods from 1 July 2020. Furlough periods that straddle 1 July are treated as ending on 30 June 2020 and then restart under the new scheme on 1 July. Two separate claims will be needed for such straddling furloughs, with furlough days up to 30 June 2020 to be included in the June claim.

Claims under the existing CJRS scheme must be made by 31 July. Claims under the new CJRS cannot be made until 1 July.

If an employer wishes to claim for furlough periods in both June and July, they must make two separate claims for the June furlough and the July furlough. However, claims for furlough periods completed up to 30 June should be submitted before any claims made in respect of periods from 1 July 2020. This is because of the maximum numbers rule (see below).

Under both the new and old CJRS, claims cannot be made more than 14 days before the end date of the claim, so claims with an end date of 31 July cannot be made until 18 July.

Only one claim per PAYE scheme is permitted, which must include all pay frequencies.

No straddling of months

Claims must start and end within the same calendar month because the rules are changing from the beginning of each month. Also claim periods cannot be shorter than a week.

The exception to this will be where six days or fewer relate to the previous month. For example, a claim for 27 July to 3 August would need to be split into two claims 27-31 July and 1-3 August. This is also going to be problematic for four weekly payrolls who will have to make fortnightly claims, ie two per pay period (example in para 1.2) to align to the calendar month.

Who can be in a claim from 1 July?

An employee can only be included in the claim from the 1 July if they had been furloughed for a minimum of 21 days at any point between 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020; for example, an employee furloughed for three weeks in May, but who then returned to work can be included in a claim from 1  July.

Furlough periods

Any furlough periods up to 30 June must last at least 21 days, but those periods can be extended by any number of days. However, where an employee resumes work and then starts a new furlough period, that new furlough period must be at least 21 days.

To qualify for a claim for flexible furlough under the new CJRS, employees must have been furloughed for at least 21 days. If the employee begins a new furlough period after 10 June, they must complete a period of at least 21 days on furlough, before moving on to a flexible furlough arrangement. If they have not completed the three-week qualification period period will not be entitled to join the flexible second phase.

Any CJRS claim which straddles 30 June must be split into two to cover the June days and the July days in of the furlough period.

Alternatively, the employer could furlough the employee for less than 21 days up to 30 June, and not make a CJRS claim for that period, but would then be able to flexibly furlough the employee from 1 July.

Maximum numbers

HMRC will validate the number of employees that can be claimed for. This must not exceed the highest number of employees that were in any claim up to and including 30 June 2020.

There are exceptions for:

  • employees returning from parental leave who had not been included in a claim up to the 30 June.
  • employees who have been moved to a new PAYE scheme as a result of a scheme reorganisation after 10 June, but had been in a claim under their previous PAYE scheme between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
  • employees transferred under the TUPE rules into a business due to a change of ownership or a compulsory liquidation after 10 June 2020, but who had been in a claim under their previous PAYE scheme between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020

There will be a facility to adjust the claim numbers to accommodate such employees.

Usual hours

From 1 July 2020, employees can work and be furloughed in the same pay period, and even on the same day. If employers want to take advantage of this flexibility they will have to calculate all of the following for the employee:

  • his or her ‘usual hours’
  • actual hours worked
  • furloughed hours worked

‘Usual hours’ are either:

In all calculations always round up to the next whole number of hours.

Furloughed hours

To calculate an employee’s furloughed hours, deduct the actual hours worked from the usual hours. Employers will be expected to report the worked hours and the usual hours in the CJRS claims portal. Only where there are 100 or more employees in a claim can the details be submitted on a spreadsheet.

Hours declared

Since April 2019 employers in Great Britain have had to show the number of hours worked on payslips if pay varies based on hours worked. This requirement will apply to all employees who are flexibly furloughed from 1 July. Whilst the legislative requirement is to show the working hours as a total for the pay period, employers may choose to show furloughed hours as well for transparency.

The wage cap

The £2,500 wage cap continues to apply for July and August. This applies to each employment and is not aggregated, it is prorated to the hours in the pay period that the employee is furloughed, with this apportionment based on calendar days. The employer’s NIC threshold and pension threshold will also be apportioned (see step by step example, and examples 3.1-3.8 ).

National minimum wage

This will be an important consideration from 1 July for any employees who are working as well as being furloughed for part of the pay period. They must be paid national minimum wage (NMW) for each hour of work and training. Care must be taken for apprentices in particular.

All employees

Be clear about what is required to be paid through the payroll, as per the employee’s terms and conditions for the hours worked, and the amount that can be claimed for under the CJRS for the number of furloughed hours. What an employer can claim under CJRS may be less than they had expected, and less than they are due to pay through the payroll.

Kate Upcraft and Rebecca Benneyworth will be joining AccountingWEB’s Coronavirus Q&A webinar this Wednesday at 9am to answer your questions on the revised Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Register to attend the webinar here.

Replies (31)

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By BryanS1958
16th Jun 2020 16:07

I can just imagine employers trying to make sense of this:-) It's even going to take me a while.

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By NYB
15th Jun 2020 10:05

31st October cant come soon enough thats all I can say.

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By TMK Accounts
15th Jun 2020 10:28

"Only one claim per PAYE scheme is permitted, which must include all pay frequencies."

So where multiple employees each work different hours over different weeks, will the new system allow 4 different weekly claims within the same calendar month for the same PAYE scheme?

My understanding is that the furloughed hours will still be paid/claimed on the old 19/20 pay rates and the worked hours are obviously on the 20/21 rate. What shall we do about holiday pay which is accumulated under furloughed hours? Rightly or wrongly I have actually paid holiday hours claimed at the rate based on the month they are claimed in.

I am so glad most of my payrolls are pretty small!!

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Replying to TMK Accounts:
By turchyna582
18th Jun 2020 14:35

I would take the view that although Furloughed pay is based upon the appropriate hourly rate at the time the employee was first furloughed; whereas holiday pay (at of course 100% ) would be paid at whatever is the contractual rate applicable when the holiday is taken i.e. in accordance with the contractual rate in 2019/20 as upgraded by 2020/21 MWR .

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By markabacus
15th Jun 2020 10:29

Hi Kate
Thanks for this, another very useful article. 'See' you on Weds technology permitting :-)

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By michellelondon
15th Jun 2020 10:47

Does anyone know if you have to re-furlough an employee for less than 21 days. If the employee has been furloughed from the beginning but has come back to work for 7 days and then needs to be re-furloughed to the end of June?

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Replying to michellelondon:
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By fawltybasil2575
15th Jun 2020 13:41

(1) "Does anyone know if you have to re-furlough an employee for less than 21 days."

Taking your question at face value, albeit it seems (with full respect, of course) a little strange, the answer is "No: as one does not ""have to" re-furlough an employee for less than 21 days.

(2) "If the employee has been furloughed from the beginning but has come back to work for 7 days and then needs to be re-furloughed to the end of June?"

If you could state the DATE from which the employee will be/has been re-furloughed, this would help in my answering the implied question.

Basil.

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Replying to fawltybasil2575:
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By michellelondon
15th Jun 2020 13:51

the operative was un-furloughed last week and is due to be re furloughed tomorrow.
He may be needed again in the first week in July. Is this possible or does he have to complete another 3 weeks? Thanks for your help

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Replying to michellelondon:
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By fawltybasil2575
15th Jun 2020 14:25

@ michdellelondon.

Since we are still in the "SEISS1"period, then the important point in your case is that, to enable a valid furlough claim to be made, the "minimum three weeks" rule must be complied with. Hence, as the "new furlough period" will start tomorrow (16 June 2020), the employee must continue "in furlough" up to and including 6 July 2020.

So if he returns to work on or before 6 July 2020, NOTHING can be claimed from HMRC for the new furlough period. Noting your indicating that the intention is for him to return to work "in the first week in July", then (unless there are some extenuating circumstances which necessitate his working again on or before 6 July 2020) the obvious commercial decision will be to delay his return to work to 7 July 2020.

It was very recently clarified that (as long as there has been a previous furlough period- which fortunately you state there was in your case) then a valid furlough period can "span" SEISS 1 and SEISS 2, ie that it can start on or before 30 June 2020 and finish on or after 1 July 2020.

The SEISS 1 rules must however be fully observed for the period 1 July 2020 up to the end of the first 21 days of the new furlough period; and hence the employee must continue to be "fully furloughed" up to the end of the 21 days, ie one cannot apply the "flexible furlough" rules to the period 1 July 2020 to the end of the 21 days.

Basil.

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Replying to fawltybasil2575:
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By newmoon
15th Jun 2020 15:38

Are you absolutely sure this is correct? The guidance says:
'Separate claims will need to be submitted to cover the days in June and the days in July that you want to claim for, even if employees are furloughed continuously. This may mean that your claim periods will differ from the pay periods you use.

This is from 'Decide the length of your claim period' here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/steps-to-take-before-calculating-your-claim-...

Doesn't the three week requirement finishes at 30th June?'

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Replying to newmoon:
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By fawltybasil2575
15th Jun 2020 19:05

@ newmoon.

Forgive me but I am not entirely sure why this aspect has confused you.

By way of background, I was initially under the impression that one could not have a 21-day furlough period starting on or before 30 June 2020 but finishing on or after 1 July 2020, since such period would be partly in SEISS 1 and partly in SEISS 2; but I awaited the further formal guidance which HMRC promised. When that further guidance was published, it (I was pleased to note) clarified that one can indeed have a qualifying 21-day period which "spans" SEISS 1 and SEISS 2.

Your quote from the guidance refers to claim periods which "cover the days in June and the days in July that you want to claim for": this is precisely the point at issue, ie periods (impliedly valid furlough periods) which consist of "days in June" and "days in July".

Elsewhere, guidance states that, from 1 July 2020 onwards, claim periods must be either whole calendar months or parts of calendar months, hence for example one cannot have a claim period which starts in June and ends in July.

Consequently, for a 21-day valid furlough period starting in June and finishing in July, and since that whole claim does not fall into one calendar month, it has to be split between (if say we take as an example a furlough period of 19 June 2020 to 9 July 2020) (i) 19 June 2o20 to 30 June 2020 and (ii) 1 July 2020 to 9 July 2020: hence the furlough pay for period (i) must be included in a claim period ending on 30 June 2020 and the furlough pay for period (ii) must be included in a claim period starting 1 July 2020 (in fact, the 1 July 2020 to 9 July 2020 pay can be included in two July claims, eg 1 July to 7 July 2020 and 8 July 2020 to 14 July 2020).

Basil.

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Replying to fawltybasil2575:
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By newmoon
16th Jun 2020 09:36

Basil
Thanks very much for the detailed response, though I'm still unclear about one particular aspect.
Prior to 1st july an employee had to be furloughed for a minumum of three weeks and if they were furloughed multiple times between 1st March and 30th June each furlough period has to be for at least three weeks.
I think what you are saying is that if, for example, someone was furloughed throughout April, unfurloughed in May and the first half of June and then furloughed again on 22nd June, they can meet the three week requirement for CJRS 1 by remaining furloughed through to 12th July. I agree this is the case.
What I am trying to clarify is that, provided an employee has been furloughed for three consecutive weeks between 1st March and 30th June, there isn't a minimum furlough period that they have to be furloughed for from 1st July. For example an employee could be furloughed for the week beginning 13th July only and a claim could be made for that one week, it does not need to be for three consecutive weeks from 1st July onwards.
Is that your understanding too please?
Likewise under Flexible Furloughing in theory an employee could be furloughed for one hour a week and for one week only and a claim could be made.
I'm referring to this link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus... where is states:
Using minimum furlough periods
Until 1 July, any employees you place on furlough must be furloughed for a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks. When they return to work, they must be taken off furlough. Employees can be furloughed more than once, but they must be furloughed for a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks each time they are furloughed.

From 1 July, agreed flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time. Employees can enter into a flexible furlough agreement more than once.

Where a previously furloughed employee starts a new furlough period before 1 July this furlough period must be for a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks. This is the case regardless of whether the 3 consecutive week minimum period ends before or after 1 July.

The final sentence states exactly what you explained in your response, I agree with your answer in that respect 100%.
Thanks very much for your feedback. I've drafted a newsletter for clients and want to be absolutely clear on this aspect as it's pretty fundamental.

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Replying to newmoon:
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By fawltybasil2575
16th Jun 2020 11:18

@ newmoon.

(1) You say:-

"For example an employee could be furloughed for the week beginning 13th July only and a claim could be made for that one week, it does not need to be for three consecutive weeks from 1st July onwards.
Is that your understanding too please?".

Yes, that is the correct position.

(2) You then say:-

"Likewise under Flexible Furloughing in theory an employee could be furloughed for one hour a week and for one week only and a claim could be made".

Yes again, you understand correctly.

Basil.

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Replying to fawltybasil2575:
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By newmoon
16th Jun 2020 12:30

Basil - excellent, thank you, that is really helpful and re-assuring.

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By michellelondon
15th Jun 2020 10:48

should have said can not should

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Replying to michellelondon:
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By aland
15th Jun 2020 13:27

You didn't say 'should' either. I assume that you mean replace 'have to' with 'can'.

The second furlough period (in June) has to be at least 21 days (according to the article), so it has to start before 10 June.

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By john hextall
15th Jun 2020 11:27

Making the claim is really quite simple and only requires a total amount. Doing the calculation to get this amount is a complete nightmare. I have been using the HMRC calculator and the figures it churns out are different to my expectations, although basic pay for monthly staff is the same. I am assuming that adding these numbers up and plugging them into the claim is the best way to go.

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Replying to john hextall:
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By NYB
15th Jun 2020 11:42

I dread anyone looking at my calculations. I've "done my best" in very difficult circumstances. And I can justify it. I find the worst thing is HMRC insisting on working in "hours" all the time as opposed to pay. Totally a pain with 4 x weekly as well.
Working as a small bureau is not easy with many clients and claims. All with the usual HMRC threat lurking in the background.
And what about the ZERO hours? no mention of that. I'm waiting for instructions with a client who has 25 young staff in the hospitality trade who I can see he will part Furlough all. Presumably it will be based on average hours x worked hours
Of course HMRC in their "example" of Part Furlough is a lovely ordinary employee on £3K working 40 hours and paid calendar month. Simple!

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Replying to NYB:
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By JHC
15th Jun 2020 17:12

I've been trying to understand zero hours calculations too. Seems to be based on the same higher of 2019-20 average or this time last year like before. Not tried to work through an example yet though.

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By tom123
15th Jun 2020 11:34

Is example 2.1 the nearest thing for an employee on a monthly salary?

None of the examples ever seem to deal with this, which is of course not that uncommon, surely..

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By Ben McLintock
15th Jun 2020 11:50

Is there a minimum furlough period after 1 July? The guidance merely talks about claim periods.

If an employee was furloughed for at least 3 weeks prior to 30 June, how long must they be furloughed for after 1 July to qualify? Is there a limit?

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Replying to Ben McLintock:
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By Ben McLintock
15th Jun 2020 13:05

Looking at this again, it seems there isn't a minimum..

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By newmoon
15th Jun 2020 12:10

Useful article, thank you.

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By Mrs Incredible
15th Jun 2020 12:39

Very useful article - thank you.
In a situation of a company with the only employee who is the Director - his work is about to disappear almost totally from here on because of where he is in the supply chain. He has not been able to furlough himself until now as he's been finishing orders. He won't be furloughed for 3 weeks before the end of June 2020, so he cannot make a claim under the first scheme for a period of 3 weeks. If the scheme is closed to employers who haven't made a claim at all how can they now make a claim? Would they put in a claim for zero up to 30th June?

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Replying to Mrs Incredible:
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By aland
15th Jun 2020 13:14

He won't be able to claim under the new scheme.
It was made very clear that this was what was going to happen. The last date to start a first period was 10th June.

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By North East Accountant
15th Jun 2020 12:54

I read this and didn't take any of it in.

My brain is furloughed as it's had enough.......

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By chewmac
15th Jun 2020 15:43

Some employers have, since March, known that redundancies are the end game but have helpfully kept employees on furlough. Pubs for example might have ZERO income and therefore need to be advised to consider lay-offs no later than 31 August if they cannot afford the furlough top-up. Expect job-seekers numbers to take-off from September 2020

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By Matrix
17th Jun 2020 18:20

If employees are still working full time in July do we still have to complete the box for the number of hours worked?

Do I have to get this info from each employer? I would like to know in advance if the claim forms are trickier and what additional information I will need.

Thanks

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Replying to Matrix:
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By Matrix
18th Jun 2020 21:17

Any ideas please?

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Replying to Matrix:
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By PandoraSleeps
01st Jul 2020 18:16

Do you mean if they are furloughed full time?

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By katepayroll
22nd Jun 2020 11:01

I spoke with HMRC last week as I was concerned on getting the information right for the various payrolls I am processing. They advised that for zero hour and variable employees, we should be looking at the same week last year, or the average hours, whichever is higher, as previously advised in the first stage of furlough claims. I've taken this to mean that if I have an employee who has been furloughed on an average 20 hour per week, they come back to work from the 1st July for ten hours in the first week, I will be processing 10 hours pay at the new rate of minimum wage, then processing 10 hours at the same rate for the same week in the previous year or their average pay which we have previously calculated and claimed. So effectively, 80% of the ten hours they haven't worked.
I think my biggest headache is going to come from the Directors who are on the £700ish a month which they have been getting 80% for as under minimum wage, it works out to about 19 hours a week.
This site and the advice has really helped me through the last three months so thank you to all contributors and question posers, I would have been lost without it!

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