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From 1 July employers will be able to “flexibly furlough” their employees. This means employers can bring their employees back to work for any amount of time and on any work pattern. Employers will be able to claim a grant for the hours which flexibly furloughed employees do not work, compared to the hours they would normally have worked in that period.

If an employer wishes to flexibly furlough staff, they will need to obtain their employees’ agreement and keep a written agreement that confirms the new furlough arrangement. This agreement must be kept for 5 years. Employers must also keep records of how many hours their employees work and the numbers of furloughed hours for 6 years.

We reckon this is one of the most cumbersome and difficult to fathom systems the government could have come up with, but it may help keep your business afloat.  Some of the clearest guidance we’ve found is from CIPD with Key Dates and the main government advice is here.  Below is an outline of what you can expect in terms of contributions going forward.   If you’ve got any concerns get in touch and we’ll help you work it out.

Furlough grant amounts from June and mandatory employer contribution between August and October
MonthPotential furlough grant amountMandatory amount payable by employerEmployer NICs and pension contributionsPercentage salary received by employees who are furloughed 100% of the time
June80% up to £2,500Can top up furlough pay voluntarily but must pay employees for any hours workedClaimable under the grant (up to the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution, calculated on 80% of wages up to £2,500 a month)At least 80% of salary up to £2,500 per month
July80% up to £2,500Can top up furlough pay voluntarily but must pay employees for any hours workedClaimable under the grant (up to the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution, calculated on 80% of wages up to £2,500 a month)At least 80% of salary up to £2,500 per month
August80% up to £2,500Can top up furlough pay voluntarily but must pay employees for any hours workedPayable by employer – not claimableAt least 80% of salary up to £2,500 per month
September70% up to £2,187.50Must top up furlough pay by at least 10%Payable by employer – not claimableAt least 80% of salary up to £2,500 per month
October60% up to £1,875Must top up furlough pay by at least 20%Payable by employer – not claimableAt least 80% of salary up to £2,500 per month