June 26, 2020

New Job Retention Scheme Eligibility: Cut-off Date Confusion

On 1 July, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is replaced by a new scheme that offers more flexibility. To take advantage of this flexible scheme, employers must meet certain eligibility criteria.

If you’re confused by the new scheme and you’re not sure if you’re eligible to use it, keep reading! We’ll explain the new job retention scheme eligibility regarding the 10 June cut-off and the exceptions to that rule, including those returning form parental leave.

10 June: The Official Cut-off?

Furloughed workers will be able to return to work on a part-time or reduced hour basis. However, in order to take advantage of this new scheme, the employer must have furloughed those workers for a minimum of 21 days on the old scheme. Therefore, the last date that an employer could have furloughed a worker for the first time was the 10 June.

Does this mean that anyone who was not on furlough on this date cannot be furloughed again? Well no, there are a few exceptions to this rule…

Exceptions to the cut-off

Furloughed staff who have already returned

Those that have been furloughed for a minimum of 21 consecutive calendar days at any point between 1 March and the 30 June but have since returned to work can be furloughed after 10 June. Which is good news for employers who have been alternating staff between periods of furlough and time in work.

However, if you wish to re-furlough a worker after 10 June, they must complete 21 consecutive days of work. Then you can move them onto the flexible furlough scheme.

Important note: After 1 June you cannot submit claims for the CJRS grant that cross calendar months. Therefore, if you have staff whose furlough period spans June and July, you must submit two separate claims. This is the case even if the furlough is continuous.

Parental leave returnees

On 9 June the Chancellor announced a last-minute change to the scheme. Those returning from maternity/paternity leave will not miss out on furlough support. Although the furlough scheme will close to new entrants by 30 June, it was confirmed that the cut-off date of the 10 June – being the latest anyone can be furloughed for the first time – will not apply to parents returning from statutory leave.

These employees can be furloughed after 10 June, even if it’s for the first time. This exemption also applies to those returning from shared parental leave, adoption leave and parental bereavement leave. Some small print:

  • Employers must submit a claim for any other employees in relation to a furlough period of at least three consecutive weeks between 1 March and 30 June.
  • The employee must have started their leave before 10 June and has returned/will return from that leave after 10 June.
  • They must have been on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March. (Meaning RTI submission notifying payments in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 19 March).

This is excellent news for parents who otherwise would have been at greater risk of redundancy, compared to their colleagues who have been furloughed. Because many businesses remain closed or are operating at a reduced capacity, they may not be able to provide returning parents with work.

It’s also good news for employers. As this exemption reduces the likelihood of a discrimination claim resulting from making a returning parent redundant. Which we know can often be a risky and complex process.

If you’ve got more questions about the new, flexible Job Retention Scheme, check out our new FAQS here.

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About the author

Jeanette Branagan

About the author

Jeanette Branagan

An HR/Employment Law Advisor, Jeanette has been involved in HR for over 10 years. She started out as a standalone HR and Payroll Officer for a manufacturing company. After 6 years, she chose to move to the HR advisory service to offer a personal service and support to small and medium business across all sectors. With this in mind, Jeanette provides a wealth of knowledge and pragmatic advice in a clear and simple way to assist clients achieve their aim whilst minimising risk and disruption. The client and their business needs are always at the heart of Jeanette’s advice.

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