Update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
On Friday 17 April, the government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) is to be available until the end of June and will be extended further if necessary.
The government also provided clarity on the following issues regarding CJRS:
Employees are able to take annual leave during furlough, subject to their employer’s agreement. Whilst on annual leave the furloughed employee must be paid at their normal rate of pay or, where their rate of pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay they received in the previous 52 working weeks. Therefore, if an employee takes holiday whilst on furlough, employers will be obliged to pay the additional amounts over the grant, although they will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken.
If an employee usually takes bank holidays as leave, the employer would either have to top up the employee’s pay to their usual holiday pay or give the employee a day holiday in lieu.
The government have provided that it is keeping the policy on holiday pay during furlough under review. We will be keeping a close eye on whether there are any additional updates in the following weeks.
Returning from family related statutory leave or sick leave
If an employee is furloughed on return from family related statutory leave (such as maternity, paternity, adoption and share parental leave) or time off sick, the employer should calculate the grant against the employee’s salary, not the pay they received whilst on leave or time off sick.
The online portal for employers to claim for wages is now open and can be accessed using this link.
Before making a claim, employers must ensure that they hold written consent from their employees to cease all work in relation to their employment. The employee’s written agreement to be furloughed can be given in electronic format such as email. Although evidence of the employee’s agreement does not need to be submitted with the online application form, employers must keep a record of such agreement for five years.
The information in this article is provided for general information purposes only. It should not be considered legal advice and you should not rely on this information in making any business, legal or other decisions. MS Rubric shall have no liability to you in respect of the information contained in this article, without limitation, including arising by any breach of contract, arising by tort (including, without limitation, the tort of negligence or negligent misstatement) or arising by a breach of statutory duty.