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Document updated/added on 29.09.2020

Topic: Changing terms & conditions and TUPE

Letter extending furlough
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Letter extending furlough

Letter extending furlough

With the government having extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until 31 October 2020, if required use our letter to extend furlough for your staff.

Scheme extensions

In mid-April 2020, the government announced that it was to extend the CJRS by one month, from 31 May 2020 to 30 June 2020. Then, in mid-May 2020, it announced that the CJRS was to be further extended to 31 October 2020. From 1 July 2020 onwards, there is also greater flexibility as the rules now enable you to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis. If you do this, the employee can then remain on furlough in relation to their normal or usual hours not worked. However, from 1 August 2020 onwards, the rules have changed again so that you must now share the cost of the CJRS. In August, the government still pays 80% of regular wages up to the monthly cap of £2,500, but you must pay the employers’ NI and the minimum auto-enrolment pension contribution. In September, the government pays 70% of regular wages up to a monthly cap of £2,187.50 and you must pay 10% of wages to make up 80% total wages up to the cap of £2,500 (plus employers’ NI and pension contributions). In October, the government pays 60% of regular wages up to a monthly cap of £1,875 and you must pay 20% of wages to make up 80% total wages up to the cap of £2,500 (plus employers’ NI and pension contributions). The employee therefore continues to receive 80% of their regular wages covering the time they are unable to work. Where the employee is flexibly furloughed, the monthly cap is calculated proportional to the hours they are furloughed.

Ongoing furlough requirement

If you originally advised your employees that you anticipated furlough would last until a specific end date, once you’ve assessed your business position and taken a decision on whether you need to extend it beyond that date (and for how long), you should write to them confirming this. This is what our Letter Extending Furlough is for. You can continue to use this letter as many times as you need to extend full furlough while the CJRS remains in place. The letter confirms the furlough extension and sets out the new anticipated end date for full furlough but makes clear that date isn’t definitive as it depends on some factors outside your control. It also confirms that the terms of the furlough arrangement remain as you previously advised the employee. However, if you want to extend furlough but on a flexible furlough basis, i.e. with the employee returning to work part time, don’t use this letter as you will need to enter into a new flexible furloughing agreement with your employee - see our Letter Seeking Agreement to Flexible Furlough. This is because different terms will then apply to the furlough arrangement. Also, be aware that the CJRS will permanently close on 31 October 2020. However, from 1 November 2020, a new Job Support Scheme (JSS) will run for six months. The JSS will require the employee to be working for at least 33% of their usual hours, so it will only support viable jobs.

New consent?

Assuming you originally obtained employees’ written consent to furlough and you made clear to them at the time that the anticipated furlough end date wasn’t definitive, and that the furlough may be extended beyond that date, you don’t need to go through the process again of seeking employees’ consent to the further furlough period.


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