Exit stage left Furlough, enter Job Support Scheme.
Today Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Job Support Scheme to top up the wages of employees unable to work full-time because of coronavirus restrictions over the next six months. The new scheme is less generous than the furlough scheme, which is planned to end on 31st October.
The emphasis is on topping up pay for employees who will only be eligible if they work at least 33% of their normal hours (what is normal ??). For the hours not worked the Government and the employer will each pay one-third, meaning that employees will receive at least 77% of their pay.
The scheme is very similar to Germany’s ‘Kurzarbeit’, or short-work, scheme, under which German employers can put their staff on reduced hours and the government pays a proportion of their wages for the time they are not working.
The burden for managing and calculating this new scheme sits squarely on the shoulders of employers and their HR teams. As businesses exit the furlough scheme on 31st October and enter the Job Support Scheme on 1st November, they will need to prepare. The time, cost and risk to HR teams shouldn’t be underestimated, some considerations:
- Transitioning from furlough pay to the Job Support Scheme – calculating pay each month comes with a different set of rules to deal with furlough in September and October, and then Job Support Scheme from November 2020
- For the first three months of the scheme the employee must work at least 33% of their “usual hours”. After 3 months, the Government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold
- Calculation of “Usual Hours” – although the government has said this will follow a similar methodology as for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, guidance and full details are yet to be set out by the government
- Employees will be able to cycle on and off the scheme and do not have to be working the same pattern each month, but each short-time working arrangement must cover a minimum period of seven days. It is not yet clear how this will work in practice
- The challenge of employee communication and engagement as staff transition from furlough to Job Support
- Managing risk of staff morale and redundancies
- Ongoing Health checker for all staff, including self-reporting and eligibility to work based on health
- Ensuring that ongoing calculations of statutory sick pay are aligned with the changes in government policy
For any business struggling to manage these complex calculations, please get in touch with our HR rapid-response team firstname.lastname@example.org
SaaS in action during lockdown
Who could predict what would happen in 2020? The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching impacts, and for elementsuite, this impact has been focussed on how to ensure our clients are able to keep up with the surge of legislative changes that have been made by the UK government since March. Being nimble and agile has […]
CIPD Essential or Desirable
For many who seek a successful career in HR and Learning and development feel that a CIPD qualification is the only way of demonstrating their grasp of all aspects of Human Resources. But also their depth of knowledge too? So does that mean that a CIPD is essential or desirable? Does a CIPD qualification really […]
Excel is Reckless Hell for HR Leaders
Part 1 – Playing with fire and being fired When I was a boy, my Mum used to tell me not to play with fire. Trouble was, I had a little steam engine that used to drive a piston and flywheel – that I loved. It was a real steam engine, and had a small […]
7 challenges keeping HR Directors awake at night
We’ve all been there – you wake up in the night with cold sweats, thinking about a work-related problem or an email you should have sent or written differently. We all aspire to be the best at what we do, and in these troubled times of global pandemic, the people in your business, and the […]