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1 July, 2020 Open access

Flexible furlough scheme begins, allowing employers to bring back furloughed workers on a part-time basis

New rules mean that employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim a CJRS grant for hours not worked

The government's 'flexible furlough' scheme has begun today, allowing employers to bring back workers furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on a part-time basis.

Announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 12 May 2020, alongside the extension of the CJRS to the end of October 2020, the new rules mean that employers will have the flexibility to decide the hours and shift patterns of returning employees.

In updated guidance, HM Revenue and Customs confirms that -

Welcoming the new flexibility, the Chancellor said today -

'Our number one priority has always been to protect jobs and businesses through this outbreak. The furlough scheme, which will have been open for eight months by October, has been a lifeline for millions of people and as our economy reopens we want that support to continue.

Giving firms the flexibility to bring back furloughed workers on a part-time basis will help them work gradually and help them plan for the months ahead.'

For more information, see Flexible furlough scheme starts today from gov.uk

NB - the government also confirmed today that businesses who no longer need the CJRS grants they've claimed have the option to voluntarily return them, and has published new guidance in Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back.