Updated Flexible Furlough Agreement: Live on Client Portal
Following last weeks’ release of the latest Treasury Direction regarding the flexible furlough scheme, we can confirm that an updated Flexible Furlough Agreement for employees on full or, part time furlough between 1st July and 31st October is now live on the Client Portal.
This updated version of the agreement considers all current guidance and Direction, which is voluminous in its content. We have tried to keep the agreement as concise as possible however it remains comprehensive to ensure full compliance with all legal and formal requirements. If you need any help with drafting the agreement, please do speak to your advisor.
If you have issued the original version of our flexible furlough agreement, this agreement will remain valid provided that it was issued in its original form however, please speak to a member of the Employment Team if you wish to discuss issuing a revised agreement.
Some headline points to consider when placing employees on flexible furlough:
- It is a requirement to get an employee’s consent to be placed on flexible furlough
The Employers’ CJRS guidance states that, when furloughing employees, “employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement”. In order to be eligible for the CJRS grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed.
For flexible furlough arrangements from 1 July 2020 the agreement between the employer and employee must be:
- Made before the beginning of the period to which the CJRS claim relates.
- Incorporated (expressly or impliedly) in the employee’s contract.
- Made in writing or confirmed in writing by the employer; such agreement or confirmation may however be in an electronic form such as an email.
- There are no time limits when it comes to flexible furlough
For periods up until 30 June 2020, employees had to be furloughed for a minimum of three consecutive weeks. Employees could be furloughed more than once, but each furlough period had to last for that minimum period.
From 1 July 2020, agreed flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time and employees can enter into a flexible furlough agreement more than once.
Where a previously furloughed employee started a new furlough period before 1 July 2020, this period must be for a minimum of three consecutive weeks, even if the furlough period spanned 1 July 2020. For any furlough period starting on or after 1 July 2020, the three-week minimum period does not apply (even if the employee is fully furloughed).
- The latest Treasury direction specifically prohibits “abusive” claims
Under paragraph 2.5 of the latest Treasury Direction claims which are either “abusive” or “not within the spirit of the CJRS” are prohibited. Furlough pay must only be claimed in genuine cases of reduced work as a means to avoid an employee’s lay off or redundancy and/or to further the continuation of their employment. Furloughing employees who have returned to work simply for the purpose of claiming furlough pay to contribute to the costs of annual leave payments will therefore be disallowed.
If you require any advice on the content or issue of any flexible furlough agreement, please contact a member of the Employment Team on 01274 864999.