Tag Archives: Liam Hutton

COVID-19: UK Gov Flexible Furlough Scheme – 1 July 2020 Update

By Nic Hart &  Liam Hutton

Nic Hart

01.07.2020

The Flexible Furlough Scheme (FFS) commenced today July 1st 2020 and you can now submit claims for periods starting on or after 1 July.

GOV.UK published a news story this afternoon announcing this commencement.

As discussed in earlier mail outs the main premise of the FFS is to allow;

“businesses to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis and will be given the flexibility to decide the hours and shift patterns of their employees – with the government continuing to pay 80% of salaries for the hours they do not work.”

The FFS will remain open until the end of October 2020. Continue reading COVID-19: UK Gov Flexible Furlough Scheme – 1 July 2020 Update

ECJ Advocate-General Opinion: Disability Discrimination Can Be Found By Comparison With The Treatment Of Other Disabled Employees

By Nic Hart & Liam Hutton

26.06.2020

The Advocate-General of the European Court of Justice has given the opinion in VL (Case C-16/19) that disability discrimination can be found by comparison between the treatment of one group of disabled employees and other disabled employees. Whilst Advocate General Opinions are not binding on the Court, they are commonly regarded as influential, and this Opinion has the potential to create a new basis for comparison in discrimination cases.

The case relates to an employer who paid a monthly allowance to those of its disabled employees who obtained and submitted a disability certificate as evidence of their disability. The issue of discrimination arose because only those who had not already obtained and submitted their certificate were eligible for the allowance.

The employer’s purpose for doing this was that by bringing about an increase in the number of disabled workers employed, the employer would be entitled to a reduction in its contribution to a disability fund.

In the Opinion, the Advocate General addresses whether this could be regarded as discriminatory for the purposes of the Employment Equality Framework Directive, and sheds some light on the applicability of the prohibition of discrimination to the conduct of an employer who treats two groups of disabled individuals differently on the basis of an apparently neutral criterion (in this instance, the date of submission of a disability certificate). Continue reading ECJ Advocate-General Opinion: Disability Discrimination Can Be Found By Comparison With The Treatment Of Other Disabled Employees

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE: UK Gov Furlough Scheme Cut Off -10th June

By Nic Hart

05.06.2020

Further to our earlier blog posts on this topic, please be reminded that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is closing to new entrants from 30 June 2020. You must furlough new entrants on or before 10th June. 

From 1 July 2020, there will be a new flexible furlough scheme where furloughed employees will be able to return to work on a part-time basis. Full guidance has yet to be issued (proposed for 12 June 2020) but present Guidance has advised that only employees who started furlough on or before 10 June 2020 will be eligible for the new scheme.

The Government Guidance states;

“From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3-week period prior to 30 June”

Continue reading IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE: UK Gov Furlough Scheme Cut Off -10th June

COVID-19: UK Chancellor Announces Changes To Furlough Scheme – 29th May 2020

By Nic Hart

01.06.2020

In the daily press conference on Friday May 29th 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, announced further changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

In essence these are as follows:

  • The CJRS will continue until October 2020.
  • Flexi furlough will commence from July 1st 2020.
  • Grants through the CJRS will be tapered from August 2020.
  • The scheme will close to new entrants on 30 June.

Flexi Furlough

This is commencing on July 1st 2020 -a month earlier than previously announced. Employers can decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return to work, so that they can decide on the best approach for them. Employers will be responsible for paying the employees’ wages while in work.

Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12th June 2020, but HMRC has provided some initial advice:

Any working hours arrangement that you agree with your employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, you will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. You can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two weekly cycles if you prefer. You will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.

Continue reading COVID-19: UK Chancellor Announces Changes To Furlough Scheme – 29th May 2020

COVID-19: UKGov Holiday Pay and Entitlement Guidance

By Nic Hart

13.05.2020

This UKGov guidance outlines how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic. It is designed to help employers understand their legal obligations, in terms of workers who:

  • continue to work
  • have been placed on furlough as part of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

This guidance should not be treated as legal advice. Employers and workers should always check individual contracts and if necessary seek independent legal advice.

Holiday entitlement

Almost all workers, including zero-hour contracted workers and those on irregular hours contracts, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year. The exception is those who are genuinely self-employed. Continue reading COVID-19: UKGov Holiday Pay and Entitlement Guidance

Employee Refusal To Return To Work in face of COVID-19 ‘Threat To Safety’ – What Is Your Response?

By Nic Hart

01.05.2020

The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the workplace continue.  It is undeniable that the potential litigation arising out of COVID-19 will be far reaching and there will be several areas that Employers need to consider now and when the return to work phase commences in earnest.

In a matter of months the Coronavirus pandemic has not only changed the way millions of employees work but also the way they may now view the work place, particularly how safe they feel within their workplace.

Health and Safety claims may become a real issue for employers as employees either leave or propose to leave, refuse to return to work or take (or propose to take) appropriate steps to protect themselves or others from what they believe is serious and imminent danger from infection. Continue reading Employee Refusal To Return To Work in face of COVID-19 ‘Threat To Safety’ – What Is Your Response?

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme – Summary of Updates to UK Gov Guidance

By Nic Hart

30.04.2020

Whilst I am very mindful of furlough fatigue, there have been further updates to the Government Guidance on The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – both How to Claim (short form and long form) and the Guidance. None of these have substantively changed but there are points to note in each, which are as follows.

The How to Claim (short form) deals with some of the practicalities of claiming. For those yet to do so please note that you need to submit your claim in one session – you cannot save it and return later. Sessions will time out after 15 minutes of inactivity.

There has been guidance given on what steps to take following a claim;

  1. keep a copy of all records, including:
    • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
    • the claim reference number for your records
    • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
  2. tell your employees that you have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action
  3. pay your employee their wages, if you have not already.

It must be stressed that Employers should record and retain documentation at all stages of the furlough process, both to be compliant with the requirements of the Treasury Direction but also to ensure that if there is any audit undertaken by HMRC they have the requisite records set out in the Guidance. Continue reading COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme – Summary of Updates to UK Gov Guidance

COVID-19: Job Retention Scheme UK Gov Guidance April 15th 2020

By Nic Hart & Liam Hutton

15.04.2020

Another week and another set of Guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has just been released today, April 15th 2020.

In addition, there has also just been a Treasury Direction released this afternoon (April 15th 2020).

UK Gov Updated Guidance

I will first deal with the 4th Guidance issued by the Government. Details on this as follows.

Continue reading COVID-19: Job Retention Scheme UK Gov Guidance April 15th 2020

COVID-19: Job Retention Scheme UK Gov update April 10th 2020

By Nic Hart & Liam Hutton

20.04.2020

Last night the Government helpfully delivered Round 3 of the Guidance for employers (and employees) on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Whilst it clarifies some areas and introduces new points, i.e. TUPE it remains silent on the issue of Annual Leave. Please find below an overview of the new Guidance. It is worth reading in its entirety and I attach a copy of the same with the new areas noted in red and highlighted.

Continue reading COVID-19: Job Retention Scheme UK Gov update April 10th 2020

Family Leave and Furlough

By Nic Hart & Liam Hutton

03.04.2020

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