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New flexible furlough guidance

Kate Palmer, Associate Director of Advisory at Peninsula

Late Friday evening, the UK Government released guidance on the flexible furlough scheme and how employers should calculate claims, Kate Palmer, Associate Director of Advisory at global employment law consultancy, Peninsula gives her insights below:

Employers will welcome the guidance on flexible furlough that was released late on the evening of Friday 12 June, though possibly not the format it was provided in. Amendments to several different documents, and further newly created ones, made it difficult to track what is actually changing and how.

However, the guidance gives us more of an idea of how employers will be able to furlough employees flexibly from 1 July 2020. It seems as though the system is indeed more flexible than the original rules with the minimum three week period of furlough being removed; the new scheme allows flexible furlough to last for any amount of time. However, employers will need to be aware that the minimum claim period allowed is seven calendar days.

The second ‘phase’ of the Job Retention Scheme is a marker for its gradual conclusion, which is expected at the end of October 2020. While some employers will be relieved that they are now permitted to meet growing demands from their customer base with a mixture of furlough, work and financial assistance from the government, the new scheme will not offer help to those who cannot yet open. Coupled with the introduction of employer contributions to wage costs, the impending end of the scheme will not be good news for all.

Kate Palmer, Associate Director of Advisory at Peninsula

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