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New National Restrictions

Posted on: 02/11/2020

View HR reflect on the guidance for employers as we head into a month long lockdown. 

As we enter another period of country wide lockdown the government have listed some updated guidance on the support available. Two key points – the furlough scheme is extended and the JSS scheme is delayed. We are expecting more details over the next few days, but the most up to date information is summarised here. What we know so far:

Furlough Scheme Extended

  • November furlough will mirror the August furlough scheme. The Government will contribute 80% of wages up to £2,500 per month, with employers contributing NI and pension contributions.
  • You can either full furlough or flexibly furlough depending on workload.
  • There will be a short period when legal terms of the scheme are updated, along with the system so no claim date has been defined. All businesses will be paid in arrears as before.
  • To be eligible employees must be on your payroll and an RTI must have been submitted by 23:59 on 30th October 2020.
  • New starters after this date are not eligible.  You will need to either agree to delay their start date or terminate their contract by paying the notice period in their contract if they have already signed and agreed the start date.
  • Employees with start dates not previously eligible for furlough could now be eligible.
  • Employers can top up the amount provided by the Government if they wish.
  • The Government will confirm shortly when claims can be made in respect of wage costs for November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support.
  • Minimum reporting and claiming period is 7 consecutive days.

Guidance is still to work from home where possible, which is company and the job role dependant.   Other work that cannot be done from home can continue as normal if the workplace is Covid secure such as manufacturing and construction.

Shielding

  • Those who are clinically vulnerable should be especially careful to follow rules and minimise contact with others.  These individuals can still attend the workplace if they cannot work from home as long as the workplace is Covid secure.
  • Those who are extremely clinically vulnerable (previous shielders with a letter confirming this) are being advised to work from home.  If they cannot work from home, they may be eligible for SSP or Employment Support Allowance.  It is not yet clear whether furlough is an option for these individuals as it was previously.
  • Further guidance on this group will be issued.

Documentation requirements

  • If they have previously been issued with a furlough/flexible furlough agreement with no fixed end date then this agreement still stands.
  • If your agreement did state an end date or you have written confirming the end of furlough, you will need to re-issue a letter to receive agreement.
  • For those not previously furloughed a new agreement will need to be issued.
  • If you have issued JSS documentation to staff, you will need to ensure that individuals are aware this scheme will not be used at present but is delayed until further notice.

Business premises which are forced to close will also receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month but the amount will depend on the rateable value: properties with a rateable value of £15k and under = £1334 per month, rateable value of £15k-£51k = £2,000 per month, rateable value of £51k or over = £3,000 per month.

For further information on the current guidance please go to:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

For more information and advice speak to the team at View HR on 01425 205390 or see www.viewhr.co.uk/about-us/

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