What are the new part-time rules and how is my pay affected?

Millions of furloughed workers can start returning to work part time from today. 

From July 1, bosses can bring back workers for any amount of time and still claim furloughed pay when they are not working.

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Rishi Sunak launched the furlough scheme back in MarchCredit: Reuters

That means if you have been furloughed during the last three months, you could be heading back to work, at least for some of the week.

It is a change to the previous rules, under which staff weren’t allowed to work for the same company while on furlough, and had to be furloughed for three weeks at a time.

From Wednesday, employers can claim for any amount of time, but they can only receive the money in seven-day blocks.

When you are working as normal, your employer will be responsible for paying your wages.

What is furlough?

THE aim of the government’s job retention scheme is to save one million workers from becoming unemployed due to the lockdown.

Under the scheme, the government will pay 80 per cent – up to £2,500 a month – of wages of an employee who can’t work because of the impact of coronavirus.

Workers will be kept on the payroll rather than being laid off.

The government will pay the associated employer national insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on top.

The scheme has been extended to run until the end of September (although businesses will be asked to chip in from August) and can be backdated to March 1 2020.

It’s available to all employees that started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before March 1, 2020.

If you’re between jobs, have started at a new place of work or were made redundant after this date then you can ask your former employer to rehire you to be eligible for the scheme.

Employers can choose to top up furloughed workers’ salaries by the remaining 20 per cent but they don’t have to.

Firms who want to access the scheme will need to speak to their employees before putting them on furlough.

While on furlough, staff should not undertake any work for their employer during the scheme.

But if you are still furloughed for part of the week, the government will pick up the bill for your wages for those hours.

To be eligible for the scheme from July 1 onwards, workers must have been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks between May 1 and June 30.

They must also have already been enrolled on the scheme before June 10, which is when the chancellor closed it to all new applicants.

The furlough scheme, officially called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, was launched in March by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help companies to continue to pay their staff even while their businesses were shut.

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The government promised to cover 80 per cent of a worker’s salary up to a cap of £2,500 each month – and this will still be the case in July if you are off work.

To be eligible for the scheme from July 1 onwards, workers must have been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks between May 1 and June 30.

They must also have already been enrolled on the scheme before June 10, which is when the chancellor closed it to all new applicants.

The furlough scheme, officially called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, was launched in March to help companies to continue to pay their staff even while their businesses were shut.

The government promised to cover 80 per cent of a worker’s salary up to a cap of £2,500 each month – and this will still be the case in July if you are off work.

As over the last three months, your employer can choose to top-up your payments so that you get paid your full monthly wage, although they do not have to.

As over the last three months, your employer can choose to top-up your payments so that you get paid your full monthly wage, although they do not have to.

But July will be the last month that the government covers other employer contributions, such as National Insurance and pension contributions.

Can I be made redundant if I’m on furlough?

EVEN though furlough is designed to keep workers employed, unfortunately it doesn’t protect you from being made redundant.

But it doesn’t affect your redundancy pay rights if you are let go from your job amid the coronavirus crisis.

Your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.

You will be entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you’ve been working somewhere for at least two years.

How much you’re entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You’ll get:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
  • One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
  • One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.

Sadly, you won’t be entitled to a payout if you’ve been working for your employer for fewer than two years.

There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.

You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.

If you’re made redundant after your company has gone into administration you can claim redundancy pay via Gov.uk.

From August, the government will pay 80 per cent of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will have to pay the extra contributions for that time.

Then from September, the amount the government pays will drop to 70 per cent of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50, with employers meeting the difference to bring the pay up to 80 per cent of wages.

In October, the government contribution will reduce again, to 60 per cent of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

Again, companies will need to pay workers so that they receive at least 80 per cent of their normal wage.

At the end of October, the furlough scheme will end completely, chancellor Rishi Sunak has said.

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And here’s what to do if your employer won’t furlough you.

Earlier this month, nine million workers who are currently furloughed were warned that a “significant” number of employees could be made redundant in the coming days.

Meanwhile, here’s all you need to know about claiming furlough payments.

Boris Johnson warns £100billion furlough scheme ‘cannot go on forever’ and vows to get Brits back to work