During the coronavirus crisis many workplaces have been closed and employees have been asked to work from home where they can.
Under the Job Retention Scheme, employers can avoid making redundancies by reclaiming 80% of the pay of furloughed workers from the government: up to £2,500 per worker per month. It will also reimburse employers’ National Insurance contributions and any auto-enrolment pension contributions payable on the 80%.
There is nothing to stop employers “topping up” the difference between the amount they are reimbursed by the government and full salary but this will not funded through this scheme.
The scheme applies to employees on an organisation’s payroll at 28 February 2020 that are any of the following:
· full-time employees,
· part-time employees,
· employees on agency contracts
· employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts.
· employees who were made redundant since 28 February 2020, if they are rehired by their employer.
The employee cannot carry out any work for the employer during the Furlough Leave and must be Furloughed for at least 3 weeks in order for the employer to receive the grant payment.
Employees that have been furloughed have the same rights as they did previously. That includes Statutory Sick Pay entitlement, maternity rights, other parental rights, rights against unfair dismissal and to redundancy payments.
Annual leave will continue to accrue as normal during furlough and the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This is because the contract of employment will continue to be in existence during this period. The government has introduced a temporary new law allowing employees and workers to carry over up to 4 weeks’ paid holiday over a 2-year period.
The government has announced a support package for the self-employed. The scheme mirrors much of the relief being offered to employees although it is only available to self-employed persons who make profits of up to £50,000 a year and the grant will be payable as a lump sum in June 2020.
If you would like to speak to one of our employment Solicitors please contact us on 0121 794 5814.