10 June, 2020
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was announced shortly after the government put restrictions in place in an attempt to contain spread of the virus. The scheme, aimed at preventing as many job loses as possible, allowing businesses to weather the storm with the least amount of damage as possible.
For state funded schools, such as maintained schools, academy trusts, alternative provision, non-maintained special schools, state funded boarding schools and school-based nursery provisions, staff whose salaries are funded by a separate private income stream can be furloughed. This includes catering staff or sports coaches for example, who meet the other requirements for the furlough scheme.
Schools who have placed staff on furlough will now need to be aware of changes to the CJRS scheme announced by the Chancellor that will take effect from July. In summary, furloughed staff will be able to undertake some work on a part-time basis and remained furloughed for the rest of the time. It is expected guidance will confirm that staff need to be paid in full for the part-time work they undertake. The Chancellor also put in place rolling restrictions on the amount employers can claim. From 1st August, employers will no longer be able to claim for the employee's national insurance contributions and pension contributions. From 1st September, employers will only be able to recoup 70% of salary (up to a maximum of £2,190). And from 1st October, employers will only be able to recoup 60% of salary (up to a maximum of £1,875). Finally, the scheme will be closed to new applicants it appears effectively from 10 June as the furlough needs to last a minimum of 3 weeks; and is expected to end for good on 31st October.
Whilst this may at first glance may appear a complex system of changes, the intention is to offer employers flexibility and access to furloughed workers, and ultimately begin to ease the financial burden on the government. Our public sector Employment specialists at Forbes are available to offer advice and guidance to any educational institutions with concerns regarding implementing the scheme.