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Employment

A number of employment law changes were introduced on the 6th April 2020.

However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, they may have been overlooked by employers and employees.  Accordingly, some of the key changes are outlined below:

On 31 July 2020, The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week’s Pay) Regulations 2020 came into force. These Regulations ensure that all furloughed employees receive redundancy payments at 100% of their normal pay, rather than at the reduced furlough rate.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: 31 July: Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus is aimed to protect jobs by giving employers the opportunity to claim a one-off payment of £1000 for all eligible employees.

On 31 July 2020, HMRC published further details with regard to the eligibility requirements and how employers can claim the bonus.

On 26 June 2020 HM Treasury issued an additional Treasury Direction highlighting the new rules which are to apply under the amended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

The new Direction confirms that the original CJRS will end on the 30 June with the amended CJRS, which allows for ‘flexible furlough’ arrangements, to apply from the 1 July. The scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

On Friday 12 June 2020, HMRC issued further guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”). This guidance outlines the details of the ‘flexible furlough scheme’ which can be utilised from the beginning of July. Under the flexible furlough scheme, employers can bring back furloughed employees on a part-time basis while still being able to receive funds under the CJRS in respect of the hours the employee is not working.  

Flexible Furlough Scheme

Covering the phasing in of employer contribution and flexible working

On Friday 29 May 2020, the Chancellor set out more details on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will operate over the summer and autumn following the prior announcement of an extension of the scheme to the end of October 2020.

The Government has announced that the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (the “Rebate Scheme”) will launch on 26 May 2020, with small and medium employers being able to use an online portal to reclaim SSP paid to current or former employees who meet the criteria. Employers can claim repayment of up to 2 weeks’ SSP starting from the first qualifying day of sickness if the employee was unable to work because:

The first reference to annual leave entitlement in the government guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was in the update of 17 April 2020.    A relatively short passage in the updated guidance confirmed that workers continued to accrue annual leave while on furlough, and that they are entitled to take leave during this time. In addition, holiday pay while on furlough should be paid at ‘your usual holiday pay in accordance with the Working Time Regulations’, and that ‘employers will be obliged to pay the additional amounts over the grant’ to employees on annual leave while on furlough leave.

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