Is there a minimum period for which employees must be furloughed under the “flexible furlough scheme”?Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 4 August 2020 Issues covered: Coronavirus; Furlough; Temporary Lay-off
Prior to 1 July 2020, employees had to be furloughed for a minimum period of three consecutive weeks. However, from 1 July 2020, the flexible furlough scheme commenced which enables employers to pick and choose when employees are on furlough and when they are working. Therefore, there is currently no minimum period for which employees must be furloughed.
However, any period of furlough agreed between an employer and employee reported in a claim to HMRC must still cover a minimum period of at least one week. From this date, only employees that employers have successfully claimed a previous grant for will be eligible for more grants under the scheme (i.e. they must have been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks prior to 30 June 2020). Firms are given flexibility to decide the hours and shift patterns of their employees through this scheme, with the government continuing to pay 80% of salaries for the hours they do not work.
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