By Nic Hart & Liam Hutton
The UK Government guidance sets out the employers obligations for family leave and the ability to claim for enhanced (earnings related) contractual pay through the scheme. As below;
Individuals who are on or plan to take Maternity Leave must take at least 2 weeks off work (4 weeks if they work in a factory or workshop) immediately following the birth of their baby. This is a health and safety requirement. In practice, most women start their Maternity Leave before they give birth.
If your employee is eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance, the normal rules apply, and they are entitled to claim up to 39 weeks of statutory pay or allowance.
Employees who qualify for SMP, will still be eligible for 90% of their average weekly earnings in the first 6 weeks, followed by 33 weeks of pay paid at 90% of their average weekly earnings or the statutory flat rate (whichever is lower). The statutory flat rate is currently £148.68 a week, rising to £151.20 a week from April 2020.
If you offer enhanced (earnings related) contractual pay to women on Maternity Leave, this is included as wage costs that you can claim through the scheme.
The same principles apply where your employee qualifies for contractual adoption, paternity or shared parental pay.
Continue reading “Family Leave and Furlough”
By Nic Hart
Last week the UK Government announced that it would be providing support for businesses through the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. Under this scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. ‘Laid off’ in this context will mean in general rather than in the technical sense.
As at the time of writing (23 March 2020 – 9:30am), the Guidance remains limited on the scheme, particularly in relation to its administration. However, we have tried to best summarise the current position below.
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.
It is not clear at this stage whether this is a cap on £2,500 gross salary or cap on net payment, but indications are from reading current guidance on this is that this will be the net salary cap.
Employees guidance is that they should not undertake work, will remain employed and on the payroll and that the employer can make up the 20% shortfall but this will be at the employers discretion.
The scheme will be backdated to 1 March 2020 and will run for an initial three months from that date. The Government have stated that the scheme will be extended if necessary.
All UK businesses are eligible. The guidance currently does not state any limitation to this, so it will apply to limited companies, LLPs, Partnerships, charities, sole traders etc.
Continue reading “Furlough Leave – The UK Government’s COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme”