I have lost count of the number of changes made to the extended furlough scheme in the last two weeks, but one very important change that employers need to know about, has been made tonight (13th November) regarding notice period and CJRS claims. It was hinted that there might be a change to the previous arrangements, but this has now been confirmed.
The latest guidance says that where you’ve made your employees redundant you should do so in accordance with the normal rules [So far, so good]. This includes giving a notice period and consulting staff before a final decision is reached. For claim periods relating to November, you can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period, however grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments. [This is the same as at present.]
However, for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, you cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which the furloughed employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period for the employer (this includes people serving notice of retirement or resignation). If an employee subsequently starts a contractual or statutory notice period on a day covered by a previously submitted claim, you will need to make an adjustment.
This means that if you have someone serving notice over a period that covers both November and December (or beyond) you can only reclaim the notice period element up to and including the 30th November. This will be a blow for those who may have thought of waiting until after Christmas before serving notice on employees - or considered re-employing anyone they dismissed after 31st October to provide them with some funding over the next few months.
If you make an employee redundant, you should base statutory redundancy and statutory notice pay on their normal wage rather than the reduced furlough wage.
For up-to-date information see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme