HMRC issued amended guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) on 4 April 2020. A full version of the guidance can be accessed here.

The key points for NEU members – particularly our supply educator members and those working in independent schools are set out below.

  1. Employers can claim for furloughed employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding, if they are unable to work from home and would otherwise be made redundant.
     
  2. Employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities (i.e. childcare) resulting from coronavirus can be furloughed.
     
  3. Employers can claim for furloughed employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding, if they are unable to work from home and would otherwise be made redundant.
     
  4.  Employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities (i.e. childcare) resulting from coronavirus can be furloughed.
     
  5. If a worker has more than one job they can be: -     
    (a) Furloughed for each job. Each job is separate and the cap of £2,500 applies to each employee individually.
    (b) Furloughed in one job and continue to work for another employer (and be paid as normal
     
  6. Employees on fixed term contracts can be furloughed and their contracts renewed or extended during the furlough period. If the fixed term expires during the furlough period, the employee will no longer be eligible for the Scheme.
     
  7. Where an agency worker is employed through an umbrella company that operates the PAYE, it will be for the umbrella company and worker to agree whether to furlough or not.
     
  8. Agencies are advised to discuss the need to furlough agency worker with any end clients.
     
  9. Furlough employees can undertake training and should be encouraged to do so.
     
  10. Employer’s national insurance and pension contributions will still need to be paid and employers can claim for these (put only up to the mandatory employer pension contribution).
     
  11. Employers can claim for any regular payments they are obliged to pay workers including wages, past overtime fees and compulsory commission payments. Discretionary bonus and commission payments and non-cash payments should be excluded.
     
  12. If contractually allowed, employees are permitted to work for another (new) employer whilst they are furloughed. New employers must ensure they complete the HMRC new starter checklist form correctly, in particular Statement C.
     
  13. Scheme grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.
     
  14. Furloughed employees will retain their employment rights including (but not limited to) SSP, maternity and other parental rights, unfair dismissal and redundancy payments.
     
  15. Employees and workers hired after 19 March 2020 cannot be furloughed.
     
  16. Administrators can access the Scheme with the expectation that they will only do so if there is a reasonable likelihood of rehiring workers.