COVID-19: Furlough Scheme – Qualification Date changed to 19 March 2020
COVID-19: Furlough Scheme - Qualification Date changed to 19 March 2020
Yesterday, the HRMC published updated guidance which changes the date which an employee must have been on payroll by from the 28th February 2020 to the 19th March 2020. This means that any employees whose employment began prior to the 19th March 2020 may now be eligible for furlough, even if they were discounted due to the previous cut off date.
Previously, if you had employees who were not eligible for furlough due to their employment beginning after the cut of date, you may have looked to place them on lay-off or short time working, enforced annual leave, or potentially made them redundant.
So, what does this mean for your business now?
What do I do if I placed an employee who was not eligible for furlough on unpaid leave?
If an employee started unpaid leave after 28 February 2020, you can put them on furlough instead, however if they went on unpaid leave on or before 28 February, you cannot furlough them until the date on which it was agreed they would return from unpaid leave.
What if I have placed employees who were not eligible for furlough on reduced hours?
If an employee is working, but on reduced hours, or for reduced pay, they will not be eligible for this scheme.
What if I have already made employees who were not eligible for furlough redundant?
Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll and were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.
How do I confirm the change to any affected employees?
This should be done in the same way as any other employee – in writing and ideally with their consent. If you need any assistance in drafting letters for staff to notify them of changes, please contact us and we will be happy to help.