A key date emerged two days ago in the government guidance for extending furlough: furlough / flexi-furlough agreements must be entered into by Friday 13 November 2020 at the latest for extended furlough to be claimed from 1 November 2020.

Here is the link to the guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extension-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/extension-of-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Section 3.2 of the guidance states:

To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed.

Employers must:

  • make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
  • keep a written record of the agreement for 5 years
  • keep records of how many hours their employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (for example, not working), for 6 years

The employee does not have to provide a written response and employers do not need to place all their employees on furlough.

The terms of any agreement must:

  • reflect the hours the employee has actually worked or not worked over the period of the agreement
  • allow the employer to satisfy the terms of CJRS so they can make a claim in relation to hours not worked

Where consistent with employment law, any flexible furlough or furlough agreement made retrospectively that has effect from 1 November 2020 will be valid for the purposes of a CJRS claim as long as it is made according to the conditions above. Only retrospective agreements put in place up to and including the 13 November 2020 may be relied on for the purposes of a CJRS claim.

We understand that these are difficult times and a lot is being asked of employers so please let us know if you have any queries or need any assistance with anything.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at Harmony HR Solutions if you need further assistance.