An FAQ email on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been sent by Dr Luke Evans who is the MP for Bosworth. Dr Evans gives information about the Furlough Scheme which has not previously been released. Dr Evans is a backbench MP and is not part of the government. This is not an official government document but with that health warning given, the key information is as follows:
• the aim is to get the scheme up and running before the end of April.
• the 80% is based on the higher of (i) the earnings in the same pay period in the previous year; or (ii) the average earnings in the previous 12 months (or less, if they’ve worked for less).
• employees taken on after 1 March 2020 are excluded from the scheme. So the rumour was true! Presumably that’s an anti-fraud measure to stop employers hiring their spouses, mums, dads and siblings after the scheme was announced.
• businesses can re-employ people who have been made redundant since 1st March, and then furlough them.
• to qualify for the payment, an employee must be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks. They can then come off furlough. This means that employers cannot rotate staff weekly between furlough and non-furlough.
• employees on furlough leave can do volunteering or training, providing it does not generate any money for their employer.
GOV.UK summary support for businesses: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
ACAS Guidance for employers: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus