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Please note that the furlough scheme ended on 30 September 2021. These pages will be removed shortly.

 

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) allows the University to reclaim a proportion of the employment costs for staff who have been ‘furloughed’[1].  The University has confirmed the extension of furlough up until 30 September 2021. During the furlough period, the University will pay all furloughed employees 100% of their contractual hours and staff who are furloughed will retain all their benefits and employment rights. 

To be eligible for the scheme an individual should be included on the payroll on or before 30th October 2020.  There is no longer a requirement that members of staff should have been furloughed previously to be eligible under the scheme.

All new furlough agreements and extensions of furlough will be issued on a flexible basis. This means that furlough can be used for individuals who cannot work at all and for those working less than their normal contractual hours.

It may be possible to furlough employees who cannot work because they need to care for children as a result of school closures, either on a full-time or part-time basis using the flexible furlough scheme. Employees should speak to their line manager and/or departmental administrator in the first instance to explore other alternative options.

A period of furlough must be a minimum of 7 consecutive days. However, for ease of administration, and particularly in relation to the calculation for the government claim, we would encourage departments to furlough for complete months rather than ending furlough part way through the month.

 

Clinically extremely vulnerable staff - changes from 1 April 2021

The Government has announced that advice to the CEV to shield will cease from 1 April 2021. CEV staff who cannot work from home can therefore return to onsite working from 1 April 2021 onwards, provided that the workplace is COVID-secure and a COVID-19 Risk Assessment is completed in advance of the return, even where one may have been completed previously. 

CEV staff can remain on furlough until such point that the institution can accommodate onsite working. Institutions may wish to agree a gradual return to full-time working (and corresponding reduction in furlough), as appropriate in the circumstances. Guidance is provided below on the operational process of ending furlough, which is the same for all staff, including CEV staff.

 

1. New periods of furlough (employees only) 

For anyone not currently on furlough, a new period of furlough will need to be agreed. This will be on a flexible furlough basis.  

For cases where individuals are working less than their normal contractual hours, the department should agree any new working hours or patterns with the member of staff in advance and confirm this in writing to the individual. Reasonable notice of at least 7 calendar days should be given (e.g., to allow people to make childcare or other arrangements). Where possible, any part-time hours should be within the individual’s normal working hours. Please do not include any agreement of hours in the furlough agreement, as the agreement would need to be updated should the arrangement for hours change.

Process 

  1. Department agrees with the individual the period of furlough and the new working pattern and hours, where applicable. 
  2. Department completes the template furlough agreement and issues it to the member of staff. This must be copied to HR_coronavirus@admin.cam.ac.uk
  3. HR Division update the HR system with the relevant information.
  4. During the flexible furlough period, any new working pattern and hours, are agreed locally with the employee, and confirmed separately in writing, as appropriate.  

2. Extension of employees on flexible furlough

For anyone that is currently on flexible furlough, where the period of furlough needs to be extended, the department should agree the new furlough end date with the individual concerned.  The furlough basis for an individual is indicated on the weekly burst report which should be reviewed by the department, to ensure they are up to date. Departments are encouraged to arrange for extensions of flexible furlough prior to the current period ending. Once an individual’s current period of furlough ends, they will no longer appear on the weekly burst report.

Process

  1. Departments discuss with the individual that they wish to extend the furlough agreement.
  2. Departments use the weekly burst report to indicate those individuals they wish to extend and the new date that furlough should end.
  3. Departments return the list to HR_coronavirus@admin.cam.ac.uk.
  4. The HR Division will issue the extension letters to the individuals (copied to the departments) and update the HR system with the relevant information.

3. Ending furlough

Where a Department is clear that an individual will return to their normal contractual hours for the foreseeable future, the individual can be taken off furlough. For ease of administration and, particularly in relation to the Government claim, ideally Departments should end furlough at the end of a month (rather than part way through the month).  Please note, the terms of the flexible furlough agreement allow the department and the employee to agree reduced working hours until the end of the furlough date.  Where an employee returns to work full-time, there is no need to end their furlough agreement unless the department is certain that the individual will not need to go back on to furlough at any point up to 30 September 2021. The department will confirm whether an employee has worked full-time or part-time via the monthly timesheet submission process.

Process

  1. Department discusses with the individual that they wish them to return to work on their normal contractual hours. Reasonable notice of at least 7 calendar days should be given (e.g., to allow people to make childcare or other arrangements).  
  2. Department use the weekly burst report to indicate those individuals they wish to unfurlough.
  3. Departments return the list to HR_coronavirus@admin.cam.ac.uk
  4. The HR Division will update the HR system with the relevant information.

4. Variable/zero hours employees and Workers 

Employees on zero-hours / variable-hours contracts should be paid any hours already committed but that cannot be worked.

The administrative costs associated with the complexity of making a claim for individuals working a small number of hours is not cost effective, therefore the University will not be submitting a claim for these individuals under the CJRS.  

If departments wish to seek reimbursement for monies paid to these individuals, they should contact their School Finance Manager in the first instance. To support any reclaim departments should ensure they keep accurate records of any hours paid and worked.  

For workers where there is no longer a need for the work, or the work cannot be carried out, the assignments should be ended in the normal way.  

5. Timesheets/Recording of hours

Timesheets will be sent to departments the 1st of the month, giving a list of employees on furlough for your department. Departments will need to confirm the actual time worked, each day, on a monthly timesheet. There is no need to indicate periods of illness or holiday on the timesheets. The timesheets will cover the entire month, however, there are separate columns to indicate where an employee has either not worked at all for the entire month, or worked their full contractual hours.

The timesheets will indicate whether the employee has been included in the Government claim. You do not need to submit a timesheet for employees that have not been included in the Government claim.

For those that have worked their normal working hours or have not worked at all for that month, the relevant column should be ticked and hours do not need to be recorded.

For those working flexibly during furlough, the department must keep and submit an accurate record of the hours that the individual works, each day, in any period.  The University will use this data to make a claim for the appropriate proportion of costs under the CJRS, where applicable.  

For these individuals, the department should record the hours actually worked using the timesheet. The format of these spreadsheets must not be changed as this will affect the subsequent processing of data and may result in individuals not being included in the CJRS claim for that month. 

For any employees on furlough that do not appear on the timesheet, please add these employees at the bottom of the timesheet.

Should any employees that are on flexible furlough take part in the new Skills Exchange Scheme, please ensure that the hours spent doing activities outside of their substantive post are also recorded on the timesheet.

Timesheets must be provided to the HR_coronavirus@admin.cam.ac.uk email within three working days of the end of each month, to be included in a CJRS claim.

6. Contractual and Statutory Notice periods (effective 1 December 2020) 

For any claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, an employer is not entitled to claim under the CJRS for any days that a furloughed employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period for the employer. 

Therefore, please enter the start date of notice on the timesheet in the relevant column against the employee. This includes individuals who resign from their positions as well as individuals where the University serves notice. It does not include anyone who is on a fixed term contract that is coming to an end. 

You will not need to submit hours for employees from the date that their notice period commences.


[1] The amount that can be claimed under the CJRS is based on a reference pay period. The amount is subject to a cap of £2,500 per month and is calculated at 80% of the reference pay for the months to 30 June 2021. The percentage, of the reference pay, that can be reclaimed reduces to 70% in July 2021 and 60% in August and September 2021.

 

Last updated: 25 March 2021