When furloughed workers can return part-time as new flexible furlough scheme starts

Employers can welcome back some workers part-time

Employers can welcome back some workers part-time (Photo: Shutterstock)

Changes in the government vacation program will come into force on Wednesday (July 1), which means that employers can invite some workers on a part-time basis.

From July 1, British employers can return ordinary employees to work for any number of hours or shifts, while they can apply for a grant for any non-working hours.

Here are the key dates and changes to keep in mind when introducing a new flexible vacation scheme.

What rules change in July?

The July changes marked a positive step forward compared to previous rules, which did not allow employees to do any work for their employer during the holidays.

When employees work normally, their employer will be responsible for paying wages.

However, if you are still relieved of work during part of the week, the government will pay for your wages for hours worked.

This means that employers who cannot afford to pay their employees full wages will be able to take them back to work without leaving them without funds.

In July, the rule of three-week rotation is also repealed, which states that if employees are assigned to leave, this should be at least three weeks, and the scheme closes for new applicants on June 30.

Closing the scheme means that only those who have already spent three consecutive weeks or more on vacation, from May 1 to June 30, will be eligible to participate in the program from July of the year.

Thus, this means that you must be registered in the program before June 10th in order to be able to continue it.

In addition, July will be the last month that the government will cover contributions from other employers, including state insurance and pension contributions.

What other changes will be made to the vacation scheme?

When the leave system, officially called the Coronavirus Job Saving Scheme, was launched in March, the government promised to cover 80 percent of workers’ wages, up to a limit of £2,500 a month.

The scheme was put in place to help employers across the UK continue to pay their employees, even when their businesses were closed.

A payout of 80 percent will continue in July, even if staff are still not working.

Employers may, at their discretion, replenish these payments to ensure that employees receive their full monthly salary, although this is not necessary.

However, this amount will be reduced in the coming months, and it is expected that employers will begin to contribute to benefits.

Here are the changes to be made in the next few months:

August

From August, workers will continue to receive 80 per cent of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, for the hours an employee is on furlough, but their employer will have to pay the additional contributions. This includes National Insurance and pensions.

September

From September, government contributions will drop to 70 per cent of staff wages, up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month, for the hours an employee is on furlough. Employers will pay the difference to bring the payment up to 80 per cent.

October

From October, government contribution will drop further to 60 per cent, up to a cap of £1,875 per month, for the hours an employee is on furlough. Employers will then pay the difference so that workers still receive the full 80 per cent of their wage.

On 31 October, the furlough scheme will come to an end.

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