Administration 75: COVID-19 guidance – furloughing staff and access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Posted on 8 January 2021 by karlien.bond
Further to the latest Government guidance we can confirm that, once again, schools will be able to access the Furlough scheme in certain circumstances. The process is the same as was used last year and it is likely that if you were eligible for furlough during the first lockdown, you will be eligible again however, Finance will still need to confirm this to be the case.
As was the case during the first lockdown, staff placed on furlough should continue to receive 100% of their salary, in line with recommendation from the Local Government Association. This means that you do not need to make any changes to furloughed staff’s pay through iTrent.
Given the tight deadline Payroll will be working to and the fact that the process needs input from HR, Finance and Payroll, it’s vitally important that schools let us know as soon as possible, but by the dates provided below at the very latest, of any staff who they want to furlough, and of any changes to their furlough arrangement such as the staff returning or leaving (or scheduled changes to pay). If we do have any queries on the information provided, or need further information e.g. for a flexi furlough, we will contact schools as soon as we can and will need a prompt response in order to submit the claim by the deadline. Please note that if we do not receive a response then we may be unable to claim for particular employees for that month because we cannot jeopardise the claim submission for the whole of DCC.
January furlough process Deadlines
School contacts Education Finance for approval based on funding (firstname.lastname@example.org) – 22nd Jan
School contacts HR Coronavirus Helpdesk with list of employees they wish to furlough (email@example.com) – 27th Jan
Tax Compliance have asked that the following reminder be included:
For furlough claims from December 2020, HMRC intend to publicise the names of all organisations who furlough staff, and details of monthly claims made. It is therefore very important that the furlough regulations are followed exactly and that claims we submit are valid and error-free. HMRC expects an appropriate manager within each school to take responsibility for the accuracy of each claim. HMRC are also prioritising measures to tackle mistakes and fraud in the furlough scheme and errors may be penalised using anti-fraud legislation such as the Corporate Criminal Offence.
Therefore if you have any concerns about who you are putting forward for furlough/flexi-furlough, please ensure that you get confirmation from Finance in advance of submitting any claims.