Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
5:41 AM 12th May 2020

Planning Ahead For Furlough Scheme Revisions – Comment From MHA Macintyre Hudson

Following the announcement of an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the ability to support part-time working from August, Nigel Morris, employment tax partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, warns businesses to remain strictly compliant with government guidelines.

“The chancellor’s announcement is generally good news for employers and means they can plan to re-open their doors and resume trading post lockdown, and through the recovery stage. However, as the scheme will be flexed between August and October to allow for part-time work, there will be a sharing of the cost with employers. This ‘topping up’ of wages ensures employers are incentivised to create a Covid-19 suitable working environment, and gradually bring staff back to work while remaining alert to social distancing rules.

“Businesses must take the time now to put the necessary operational and financial plans in place. As August approaches, employers will have to assess the productivity benefits of bringing back certain furloughed staff part-time, and whether these costs will likely be covered by increased sales.

“Moving out of lockdown and physical ‘re-opening’ for employers will also require very careful management of the CJRS rules. The complexities associated with calculating the claim and remaining compliant mean employers must fully assess:

How to manage un-furloughing workers and maintain optimal operational performance and fairness to all employees

Potential phased customer activity and associated staffing levels post 1st June

How to remunerate employees after 31st July when the CJRS moves to the new rules, while turnover remains low or increases gradually

Additional costs not funded from government schemes and the potential alternatives e.g. reducing pay, deferring payments, redundancy (and the cost of statutory versus enhanced notice)

New or proposed ways of working and any potential staff redeployment and training needed”