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Changes Made To Government Flexible Furlough Scheme Rules thumbnail

Changes Made to Government Flexible Furlough Scheme Rules

On 1st July 2020, the government’s ‘flexible furlough scheme’ officially started. For many who have been trying to keep up with the various iterations of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) since its introduction, there is likely to be considerable confusion over this new version of the scheme. In this article, we will explain the changes introduced in this new extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), how these will work, and the real-world implications.

What is the government’s flexible furlough scheme?

The latest variant of the JRS is designed to allow employers to continue furloughing employees on a full or part-time basis, while they remain furloughed for the remainder of their contracted hours. This means that the hours being worked will be paid by the employer in full, but the furloughed hours will be covered jointly by the scheme and the employer. While this seems fairly simple in principle, the practicalities and nuances of the scheme will be inevitably more complex. The main features of flexible JRS are as follows:

  • from 1st July 2020, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked
  • the flexible JRS will only be available for employees who were already registered on the scheme before 1st July 2020, i.e. the scheme will close to all new applicants unless they are returning from statutory parental leave
  • Employees must have previously been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks between 1st March and 30th June 2020. This means that the last day an employee could have started furlough for the first time was 10th June
  • it will still be possible to furlough a member of staff for their full contracted hours
  • As of 1st July, furlough periods can last any amount of time, i.e. there is no set minimum period (the minimum prior to this date was three weeks).
  • Any furlough periods which include days in June and July must be split into separate claims
  • the new flexible furlough scheme rules mean that an employer cannot claim for more employees than they did in the period before 1st July 2020, except if anyone has returned from statutory parental leave. As such, it will be important for employers to keep a close eye on how many people they are claiming for.

How will the amount of JRS grant change?

From 1st August 2020, the amount of JRS grant will reduce each month, which will effectively gradually wean employers from reliance on the scheme and, hence, reduce the burden on the public. At this point, the government will fund 80 percent of wages up to £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough, but employers must then pay any national insurance (NICs) and pension contributions (previously under the scheme, pensions and NICs were paid for by the government.

From 1st September 2020, the government’s contribution to furloughed hours will drop from 80 percent to 70 percent, and the cap will drop correspondingly from £2,500 to £2,187.50. In addition to paying for NICs and pension contributions, employers will also need to make sure that employees receive 80 percent of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 while they are furloughed; this means employers will pay a contribution of up to £312.50.

And from 1st October 2020, there is a further reduction with the government paying 60 percent of wages up to a maximum of £1,875 for furloughed hours. Employers will continue to pay NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to 80 percent of their wages (capped at £2,500) while they are furloughed (which equates to an employer contribution of up to £625).

Calculating how much can be claimed

The full rules for calculating how much can be claimed can be found on the government website here, and the JRS calculator can be found here . The key points to bear in mind when working out how much can be claimed are as follows:

  • Under the flexible JRS scheme, the claim amount is determined by the ‘usual’ hours worked when the employee is not furloughed, less the hours they actually work.
  • Employers will need to keep a record for six years of any amount claimed, the claim period for each employee, claim reference number, usual hours worked including any calculations, and the actual hours worked for employees flexibly furloughed
  • If a staff member has fixed hours, their usual hours are based on their contracted hours up to 19th March 2020.
  • If a staff member has variable hours, their ‘usual hours’ are worked out by using the higher of the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019 to 2020, or the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020 (including periods of paid annual leave or non-discretionary overtime).
  • As the government’s guidance states, if an employee is fully furloughed, there is no need to calculate usual hours and furloughed hours – the amount to be paid is simply based on the maximum wage amount (currently £2,500).

Final words

There is no doubt that the new flexible JRS is more complex than it was previously, but this is an inevitable consequence of adding flexibility. The government is clearly very keen to keep as many people in employment as possible, even if this means on a part-time furloughed basis. It is recommended that all employers keep a full complement of records from the start of their use of the JRS until the day it is no longer used. This will mean that any potential questions or enquiries from HMRC can be quickly responded to. As ever, when it comes to tax and the law, it pays to be extremely cautious and diligent. For more in-depth insights on the revised JRS, talk to experienced immigration solicitors.

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ACQ5 Awards Award ACQ5 Awards Award
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O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

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"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into steps that are easy to follow. Cruised to 3 successive wins on my Tier 1 graduate/entrepreneurship visa which allowed us to play our part in making the UK a better and healthier place!".

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"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

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"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

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"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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