What is Flexible Furlough?
by David Coward
Under the coronavirus job retention scheme, an employer can obtain a grant to cover 80% of the salary of employees placed on furlough leave up to a total of £2,500 per month for each retained employee. Prior to 1 July 2020, employees on furlough were not able to carry out any work (save for training) for their employer. However, from 1 July 2020 furloughed employees are able to return to work on a part-time basis in a ‘flexible furlough’ arrangement where employers pay in full for hours worked and can claim under the coronavirus job retention scheme for the hours not worked, subject to the relevant caps.
There is no limit or restrictions on the working arrangements that can be agreed with furloughed employees and employees do not need to be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks any longer.
Employers are permitted to continue to fully furlough employees who had been furloughed for at least three weeks before 30 June. However, the flexible furlough scheme is intended to assist employers in getting their businesses back on track in order that they can take over the full costs of paying their employees by the end of October.