The coronavirus job retention scheme allows employers to reclaim on a basis of earnings from February 2020 ( for salaried with regular pay) or for those on variable pay based on the same month last year or an average over the past 12 months (whichever is higher).
Some employers may have been due to add a pay rise or uplift pay due to the rise in National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.
So does the grant application allow for pay increases in the reclaim – simply no.
National Minimum Wage
Individuals are only entitled to the National Living Wage (NLW)/National Minimum Wage (NMW)/ Apprentices Minimum Wage (AMW) for the hours they are working or treated as working under minimum wage rules.
This means that furloughed workers who are not working can be paid the lower of 80% of their salary or £2,500 even if, based on their usual working hours, this would be below their appropriate minimum wage. However, time spent training is treated as working time for the purposes of the minimum wage calculations and must be paid at the appropriate minimum wage, taking into account the increase in minimum wage rates from 1 April 2020. As such, employers will need to ensure that the furlough payment provides sufficient monies to cover these training hours. Where the furlough payment is less than the appropriate minimum wage entitlement for the training hours, the employer will need to pay the additional wages to ensure at least the appropriate minimum wage is paid for 100% of the training time.
Where a furloughed worker is paid close to minimum wage levels and asked to complete training courses for a substantial majority of their usual working time employers are recommended to seek independent advice or contact Acas.
Of course, employers can continue to pay amounts above the CJRS reclaim allowed amounts, the employer covers the excess along with any associated employer on-costs.