A Cheshire-based employment law specialist is urging businesses to take note of the government’s furlough updates, with one of the key deadlines fast approaching.
The current scheme ends on 30 June, with a new flexible coronavirus job retention support programme scheduled to operate until the end of October.
However, the new scheme is only available for employees who have been furloughed for a full three weeks previously.
This means the last date an employer can place a member of staff on furlough for the first time in order to meet the requirements is 10 June (Wednesday).
Latham Parry, partner at Warrington-based Watsons Solicitors, said: "Employers need to act quickly if they wish to use the coronavirus job retention scheme as it closes to new entrants from June 30.
“Further changes are being implemented from July 1, with organisations having flexibility to bring back staff on a part time basis. It is up to the employer and employee to decide the amount of time worked.
“Changes to employer contributions will also come into effect from August as businesses will be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer Pension Contributions, which the government is currently paying.
“Additionally, from September, the 80 per cent government grant drops to 70 per cent, with organisations expected to pay the remaining 10 per cent. In October, this will fall to 60 per cent from the government and rise to 20 per cent from the employer.
“Businesses can still top up the wages to 100 per cent if appropriate.
“The furlough scheme can be quite complex, and if anyone has any questions, our advice is to speak to an employment law specialist.”
Furloughing was introduced in March to enable companies to place employees on leave during the coronavirus outbreak with 80 per cent pay from the government in order to prevent organisations making mass redundancies.
As of 31 May, 1.1m businesses are still using the scheme, with 8.7m workers furloughed in the UK.
Watsons Solicitors, which has been established for more than 60 years, specialises in family law, employment law, wills and probate, personal injury, and conveyancing.
The team of experienced solicitors hold various accreditations and memberships of professional bodies relevant to their expertise, while the firm’s partners oversee all areas of work.