Review of the changes to Furlough scheme

June 12, 2020

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation has been incredibly busy representing the recruitment industry to ensure that the various schemes and support systems in place for the country for COVID-19 accurately represent what recruiters and their clients need.

We have attended several their webinars and provided a useful summary of the changes to the guidance. The information is correct on the day of publishing this blog post and whilst we endeavour to ensure we are providing the most up to date information, it is changing on a daily basis so always use guidance from your professional body before taking any key actions.

Everything you need to know about Furlough

  • Last week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Furlough scheme was extended until 31st October 2020. The REC does not have the detail behind this yet, however, they are expecting to receive it around 12th June. Keep an eye on their website and social media for further details. We will provide updates as and when we can too.
  • The scheme is closed for new entrants by the end of June. Therefore, applications should be in by Tuesday 10th
  • From 1st September, salaries will be reduced to 70% and by 1st October, to 60%. This is a clear indication of the government’s desire to reduce the amount of people on the scheme (which is currently sat at 8 million people).

What about other employer contributions?

  • From 1st August, employers will be expected to NOT claim for the National Insurance and pension contributions for Furloughed staff (this was the wording used on the webinar).
  • Employers have been contributing to the Apprenticeship Levy and this will continue.

What does flexible Furloughing mean?

As we’ve mentioned, the government has a huge number of people on Furlough and they acknowledge that some businesses might take a while to get back up to full capacity. Flexible Furlough means you can start to bring your staff back, but on a flexible or part time basis.

This will be brilliant for recruiters as their consultants can come back and start to contact their clients and candidates again so that they are ready for when placements can be made.

The REC has acknowledged that the current guidance does not provide clear direction about temporary workers on Furlough and are seeking further information.  We will let you know as soon as we have more information about this.

What is the current situation with rebates for Statutory Sick Pay?

Applications can be made via the government portal and its understood that payments are being made within 6 days.  This applies to SME’s with under 250 staff and the REC has acknowledged that this is an issue for many recruitment agencies where their temps are on the payroll.  You can link to the portal here. The REC’s press release about SSP can be found here.

The situation around payrolling people through the Furlough scheme is changing constantly and the EdenGroup team is working incredibly hard to interpret the guidance and implement the systems to support the evolving situation.

We receive the information and guidance at the same time as everybody else, so if you have a query, please contact your Client Service Associate and we will do our best to provide you with the information you need.

If there are any specific areas that you require more support on, or any suggestions as to how we can support you further, please get in touch with one of the team on 0844 686 8360.