Since it was announced in late March, the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has allowed workers to continue receiving 80% of their monthly income when they could no longer attend work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers that were furloughed could not carry out any work for a business whilst they were receiving payments.
For businesses across the UK, this was a fantastic boost during what was an otherwise challenging and unexpected time. For contractors working with an umbrella company, their ability to be placed on the Job Retention Scheme was very much down to the discretion of the umbrella company with whom they were working. Sadly, this meant that many contractors were not provided with furlough payments.
This was not the case however, for contractors working with Exchequer. We have a responsibility to look after contractors through each stage of their career, including during unprecedented times such as the Coronavirus lockdown. We are proud to have been able to support contractors during this difficult time by placing eligible contractors onto the furlough scheme.
Furlough after lockdown
The Scheme itself with end on the 31st October 2020, but with the UK now slowly easing out of lockdown, there have been some changes to how employers can implement CJRS.
Flexible furlough was introduced from the 1st July. This means that companies are now able to bring workers back for certain times and shift patterns, but still claim with the CJRS for the hours that aren’t worked. For example, a worker that typically worked full time hours could, under these changes, work Monday to Wednesday, and receive furlough payments for Thursday and Friday.
In addition to this, from August, whilst the government will still pay 80% of an employee’s wages for hours they are furloughed, the employer will also be responsible for paying ER, NIC and pension contributions for the furloughed employee.
This will change once again in September when the government will reduce its grant to 70% of income, with the employer making up the remaining 10%. A further reduction of 10% to 60% grant will occur in October, with employers being asked to make up 20%. A grant cap of £2,500 will remain throughout.
Here at Exchequer, many contractors are returning to work following lockdown and are therefore no longer on the furlough scheme. We will continue to support our contractors by continuing to make furlough payments to all those eligible until the end of July, after this time we will be supporting contractors as they return to their ‘new normal’ working lives.
If you have any queries with regards to your furlough payments and how they may change moving forward, please contact the Exchequer team today.