Guidance for Managers- Scheme changes from 1st July to 31st October 20

The Job Retention Scheme has been available since 1 March 20.   The government has recently published new regulations and guidance covering the period from 1st July to 31st October 2020.   The following summarises the main provisions of the scheme from 1 July 20.

  • Flexible Furlough - Flexible furlough arrangements will enable staff who have already been furloughed to be considered for flexible furlough. Workers can therefore be furloughed for part of their contractual/assigned hours and work some of them.  Flexible furlough is restricted to an employee’s normal full-day/full-shift hours.
  • No minimum period for furlough leave.  Initially there was a minimum period for furlough leave of three weeks.  There is no minimum period. 
  • Eligible staff - As of 10 June, the Scheme is no longer available to be used for any employees who were not furloughed before 10 June, with the exception of employees returning from maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity or parental bereavement leave up to 31st October 20). 
  • More than one contract - Where people have more than one contract, they will no longer have to be on furlough leave for all roles.  It will be possible for them to come back part-time in one or both roles, or remain on furlough leave in one role and come back full or part-time in another role.  Note: They cannot work in another role for the periods they would have been contracted or assigned in another role but have been placed on furlough leave. 
  • Carers - Staff who are carers can continue to be furloughed even if there is work for them to do, provided they “are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus”.  Employers should still continue to explore other options such as flexible working, prior to furlough leave. There is no entitlement to furlough leave, it is remains an employer decision.
  • Shielding - Staff who are shielding or unable to work because someone at home is shielding, can still be placed on furlough leave. 
  • Payments – Whilst the government is reducing the level of reimbursement under the scheme arrangements; July (80%), August (80%), September (70%), October (60%), the University has agreed that staff would continue to receive all their normal pay and benefits with the exception of certain allowances such as on call/standby allowance which are not payable. Overtime is also excluded. This will apply until 31stOctober 20.
    • Sickness – staff are required to report sickness in the normal way whether they are on furlough leave or working
    • Agreement – Employers must put in writing furlough arrangements but they no longer have to obtain agreement in writing.
    • Other work – Employees must not work for the University for any times they are also being placed on furlough leave.
    • Training - It is possible to ask employees to undertake online training whilst on furlough leave.

 View full guidance document HERE