Both employees that have been furloughed previously, and those that have not, are eligible as long as the employee was on the employer's PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020. The employee can be furloughed on a full-time or flexible basis.
The scheme applies to all employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes. The scheme is not considered to apply to publicly funded organisations but in some circumstances may apply to partially publicly funded bodies.
The Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the time the employee is not working. The grant for which the employer is eligible is calculated against the hours normally worked by the employee.
As a minimum to qualify for the grant the claim must be for a minimum of the hours not worked during seven consecutive calendar days.
It is for the employer's discretion as to whether they decide to top up the employee's wages above the 80% out of their own funds.
The 80% covered by the scheme needs to be paid to the employee in full, with employers paying National Insurance and pension contributions, and the employer must continue to pay the employee for hours worked as normal.
The scheme is set to run until December although the specifics are still being finalised and this includes the method for making a claim.
Those at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) have been divided into two groups, those who are clinically vulnerable and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. We await further guidance but what we know currently is that shielding has not been re-introduced. Instead, the Prime Minister suggested those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should take extra precautions which includes limited contact with others and working from home. He also stated that if working from home is not possible, a clinically extremely vulnerable employee should not go into work. Employers will need to consider any detailed guidance when it is available, an employee's particular circumstances and the nature of the particular workplace (including the anti-COVID measures that have been implemented to date).
Most employers will have some form of written confirmation or agreement for employees who were furloughed under the original CJRS scheme. Whilst the terms of that correspondence will need to be reviewed, it is likely that further written confirmation or agreement will be required with employees being placed on extended furlough.