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Job Retention Scheme: Croner answers the top member questions

News from our business partners

Things are changing rapidly for businesses across the UK. The latest change, announced on 5 November, means that the Job Retention Scheme – or furlough – has been extended to 31 March 2021.

REC and Croner will be holding a webinar on 25th November to give recruitment leaders an insight into what has changed, what you need to be aware of, and how you can navigate the latest developments brought by the pandemic.

Below are some FAQs we have received from REC members via the Croner advice line. For further clarity and guidance, register your complimentary webinar place today.

Why was the scheme extended?

Originally launched in March 2020, the furlough scheme was expected to end on 31 October 2020, to be replaced by a new scheme, the Job Support Scheme, from 1 November. However, because of recently announced national lockdown restrictions in England, the furlough scheme has been extended across the UK and the Job Support Scheme postponed indefinitely.

How does the extended scheme work?

Like before, you place staff on a period of ‘furlough’, meaning they do not work at all, or work less hours than usual, but are retained on your books. This is an alternative to making staff redundant.

From November, the government then pays 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per employee per month. You do not have to top up their wage, meaning that if an employee is placed on ‘full furlough’ and does no work for you, all you will need to pay is National Insurance and employer pension contributions.

Employees can work part-time whilst furloughed, otherwise known as ‘flexible furlough’, however you will need to pay them in full for the time they work.

How do I claim the grant?

The government will publish further guidance on how to calculate an employee’s normal pay, as well as guidance on how to make the claim. When claiming the grant for furloughed hours, you will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.

Which companies are eligible to use the scheme?

All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. From November, you will not need to have used the furlough scheme before.

Do I need to have furloughed employees before?

No. From November, employees can be furloughed for the first time provided they meet other eligibility criteria.

Which employees can be furloughed?

To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on your PAYE payroll by 23:59 30 October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30 October 2020.

Although we are waiting for further guidance, if this extended scheme continues to operate in the same way as previously in terms of scope, furloughed workers will include agency workers, office holders (including company directors) and salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs).

Need more advice on this topic? At our upcoming webinar, we’ll be discussing points such as:

  • How the Job Retention Scheme extension works
  • The postponed Job Support Scheme
  • Working-from-home guidance
  • Ensuring a COVID-secure workplace
  • The rules on carrying over annual leave
  • Lay-off & short time working
  • How Brexit transforms Employment Law

If you’re a business owner or is responsible for managing your staff at your recruitment business, this is a must-attend webinar for you. Book your place here.

For further advice, contact the REC’s Legal Helpline or access Croner’s experts here.

Webinar: HR: What Changed In 2020 & What To Expect In 2021

For further clarity and guidance on the Job Retention Scheme or any upcoming HR changes, join Croner's upcoming member webinar on 25 November. It's free-to-attend.