New furlough measures announced—here’s what’s changing and when

BrightHR breaks down all the essential detail from the Chancellor’s announcement…

BrightHR Team

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has revealed the government’s plans for winding down the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

And while the changes are more gradual than first anticipated, some of the new measures land as early as next week. So with that in mind, here are the all-important dates you need to remember…

10th June: Cut off point for new entrants

The Job Retention Scheme closes to new entrants from the 30th of June 2020. However, if you want to furlough someone for the first time you need to do it much sooner than that.

You actually have until the 10th of June 2020 to furlough new entrants under the scheme. That’s because your employee needs to be on furlough for three weeks before you can claim the government funding. Confusing, we know…

30th June: Job Retention Scheme officially closes to new entrants

Remember, although this is the official closure date for new entrants, you only have until the 10th of June 2020 to furlough someone for the first time.

1st July: ‘Flexible furlough’ begins

From July, the government is letting you bring furloughed employees back to work part-time and claim grants for the hours they’re not working.

So say you bring an employee back for two days a week. You’ll pay your employee as normal on those two days and claim 80% of their wages through the furlough scheme (up to a maximum of £2,500) for the remaining three days.   

1st August: Employers start to contribute

In June and July, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue to operate as normal. Then, as part of a gradual process, employers will start to contribute towards the scheme.  

From August, you’ll pay employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions for the hours your employees aren’t working. The government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a limit of £2,500.

1st September: Employer contributions rise to 10%

From September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50.

You’ll continue to pay employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions, as well as 10% of wages to make up the 80% total, to a maximum of £2,500. 

1st October: Employer contributions reach 20%

In the last month of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875.

You’ll pay employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions, as well as 20% of wages to a maximum of £2,500. 

31st October: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends   

Unless the government extends the Job Retention Scheme further, it will close on the 31st of October 2020. This date marks the end of furlough and government funding for employers.

Get help to secure last-minute grants

With just four working days to furlough employees for the first time, you’re quickly running out of time to secure additional government funding.

But don’t worry, the brand-new Furlough Navigator from BrightHR helps you to apply for government grants quickly and easily. Just use the exclusive online tool to: 

  • Record employment statuses as furlough in a few quick clicks.
  • Download a clear furlough report and use it to secure HMRC grants quickly.
  • Enjoy unlimited cloud-based storage. Use it to keep your furlough letters safe and secure for five years in line with government guidance.

To see how the Furlough Navigator helps you to secure last-minute grants, book your free demo today.

Already a BrightHR customer? Just log in to your account to start using it straight away.