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 email@example.com
Why HR needs to start being more data fluent
In today’s world, data is being collected on everything that we do. From surfing the internet to monitoring organisational performance via business software, we live in a world of mass data collection. And while our IT, finance and marketing colleagues are all reaping the benefits of this information to add more business value, only 41% […]
Why Nailing Your Onboarding Processes Is Key to Building a Positive Company Culture
A company’s culture is its DNA. It’s what makes the company unique and what sets them apart from the competition. Strong company culture can help to attract top talent, improve onboarding, encourage creativity and innovation, and boost employee morale. At the same time, harmful or toxic company culture can damage employees and lead to high […]
Top 10 Questions To Ask For Selecting HR Software
Our Top 10 HR software questions Choosing the best HR software for your business can be a daunting task. You have probably done a lot of research online and jotted down your top prospective suppliers. But with so many different systems available, it can be hard to know which is the best fit for your […]
HR and Payroll Software: The Answer to Your Annual Leave Management Woes
It’s that time of year again when the holiday season is fast approaching. For many people, this means taking a much-needed break from work to spend time with family and friends. But for HR, the holiday season can be a hectic time, ensuring that the payroll is accurate, everyone gets their leave entitlement, and there […]