From today, SME owners in the UK are able to bring employees back to work for any amount of time and still claim furloughed pay when they are not working. This means if workers have been furloughed during the last three months, they could be heading back to work part-time or on a very adhoc basis.
This is a big change to the previous rules, which stated employees in UK businesses weren't allowed to do any work for the company that has chosen to furlough them, and they had to be furloughed for three weeks at a time.
Benjamin Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, the award-winning job management, invoice, estimating & scheduling software for small businesses, has discussed what these changes could mean for the trade:
"Getting staff back on a part-time basis will be a relief for many trade businesses. As sites have reopened, many have already started to head back to work but for those businesses who still have staff on furlough, this is a way of off-setting the cost and bringing people back in a more managed way. Employers need to ensure that their teams work less than the maximum amount of hours so they are still eligible for furlough payments and your last chance to submit claims for the period ending the 30th June is the 31st July.
How the majority of tradespeople and sole traders thought, they are self-employed, so the rules are different. If you haven't looked into it already, the government did announce the ‘Self-employment Income Support Scheme’. The scheme is designed to allow those who are self-employed to claim a grant. It allows people to claim a taxable grant of 80% of their monthly trading profits and is paid out in one single instalment but covers three months and is capped at a total of £7,500. Eligible business owners have until the 13th July to make their first claim but for those who receive a grant, they can still continue to work and it does not need to be repaid. Be sure to check the Gov.uk site for eligibility and what options are available for you and your business."