We wrote this blog post last month, but we wanted to update it because the guidance for contractors around holiday pay whilst on Furlough has changed.
As a provider of Pay & Bill services for contract and temporary workers, you can imagine that we have had to work very hard behind the scenes to make sure that your workers are being paid the right amount under this new scheme.
Although we’ve updated our customers, we thought it would be useful to have a blog post on our website to provide some clarity around our approach. Firstly, it’s important to stress that this information is correct on the day of publication (updated on 21 May 2020) and secondly, we are often getting the information about the situation from the government at the same time as our clients. This means we need to take some time to review it, understand the implications and put solutions in place so that we can action the changes as they are coming through, which is sometimes on a daily basis.
We’ve pulled together some of the questions we are asked regularly as this may help you to know what the options are for your contract and temporary workers. We’d always advise you to take legal advice before making any sort of offer as our recommendations are guidance based on our interpretation of the legislation that is coming through. We take our guidance from the www.gov.uk website, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, APSCO and the FCSA, (EdenGroup was recently awarded FCSA accreditation).
Should holiday accrued be added to Furlough Payments?
We have received further guidance on holiday accrual for agency temp workers on Furlough. Holiday pay is NOT accrued for any Furloughed agency employees who are on a contract for services. The official guidance can be viewed here, however the guidance confirms that for those on contracts of employment, holiday will accrue as per their contracts, treating Furlough as though the contractor isn’t on an assignment. Any holiday pay that does accrue because of the unique terms of individual agencies, can be reclaimed at 80% under the CJRS. Please discuss with your account manager to see what steps need to be taken for these agencies.
Do Furlough Payments only apply to people on payroll on 19th March?
Again this is open to different interpretations. The only clarity is that “Employees hired after 19 March 2020 cannot be furloughed or claimed for in accordance with this scheme.” We would recommend you make your own conclusion or seek further clarification on this.
Who should be put on Furlough?
We would strongly recommend you get legal advice on who should be put on Furlough. The advice is clear: “Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. When employers are making decisions in relation to the process, including deciding who to offer Furlough to, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.”
For EdenGroup, we are continuing to operate as normal, with our team being based from home. Your Pay and Bill services are run using our own brilliant software, Evertime, which is cloud-based and means there is no interruption to your service. We hope that all of our customers are keeping safe and well and we are available at the end of the phone when you need us.
If you have any further questions about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough), please contact one of our team on 0844 686 8360.