Changes to Job Retention Scheme
From 1 May, the furlough scheme (also referred to as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) will change. We've done a brief synopsis here but we recommend you visit GOV.UK's page 'Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' for more detail.
Who is eligible to be furloughed?
Previously, if you have staff not employed past 30 October 2020 they couldn't be furloughed and even then a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission must have been made to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020; notifying HMRC of a payment of earnings for that employee.
This now changes:
For pay periods that start on or after 1 May 2021, employees who were employed on 2 March 2021 can be furloughed but this is on the proviso that you made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
This will allow firms to have more flexibility when it comes to future furlough decisions. Those staff taken on between 31 October 2020 and 2 March 2021, may be furloughed. It means that you will not have had to claim previously for an employee before 2 March 2021 in order to claim for periods from starting on or after 1 May 2021.
Calculating claims for periods staring on or after 1 May 2021
Due to this change in eligibility, the government has published updated guidance on how to calculate furlough pay.
The government will still provide 80% of furloughed staff wages in May and June 2021 for staff not working and it is not until 1 July 2021 that it will begin to reduce the amount paid.
Claiming for staff previously made redundant
For periods beginning on or after 1 May 2021, you will no longer be able to furlough staff that were previously made redundant.
Furlough after TUPE
From 1 May 2021, you are able to furlough employees if they were included on a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC on or before 2 March 2021.