Our Lay Employment Officer, Rob Cooper email@example.com 07947 533598, can provide support for any queries regarding recruitment or management of lay employees during the coronavirus pandemic or at any time.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will come to an end during October and is being replaced by the newly announced Job Support Scheme. Under this new scheme, employees return to work on fewer than their usual hours, with the shortfall in pay being shared between the employer, the government and the employee. Contact Rob if you think this new scheme might be relevant to you, are concerned what your church/circuit will do once furlough grants end, or are considering any changes to employee contracts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Responses from Rob to Frequently Asked Questions are available here
FAQ 18 June 2020 RC v4 (last updated 22/06/2020)
If a member of your staff is unable to perform any work and voluntarily agrees to be "furloughed" use this template to formally confirm the change in employment status with them
Letter template (Last updated 30/03/2020)
If your member of staff is to fully or partially return to work use this template to formally confirm the change in employment status with them.
Return from Furlough Template Letter (Last updated 22/06/20)
These documents will be updated regularly, including as new guidance emerges from government. Please keep checking this page on a regular basis for updates.
As a District we continue to strongly recommend that Methodist employers do all they can to top up furloughed workers pay beyond the amount reimbursed by government, so that furloughed employees do not suffer any loss of income at this time.
You do not need District permission to furlough workers, but please inform Rob if you do, so that we can keep you informed of any changes to the furlough scheme.
If you are planning other changes to terms of employment, such as a permanent reduction in hours, as a result of the pandemic you still need to consult with Rob in advance.
If your church is facing significant loss of income and hence may struggle to pay employee wages, contact your circuit treasurer in the first instance, or Neil Harland, Mission Development Support Worker firstname.lastname@example.org 07483 308008.
Government grants to pay part of the salary of furloughed employees can now be claimed. If you have furloughed employees you should start the process of reclaiming government funding as soon as possible. Whilst the HMRC scheme is making quick payments, claims are fiddly, cannot be automated and there is no leeway for errors. This is placing incredible pressure on payroll bureaus and small accountancy firms, who have huge volumes of data to process.
If you use the Connexional payroll bureau, they can claim furlough grants for you.
Download and save to your computer the "Furlough Scheme Application (Excel)" spreadsheet on the Connexional employment advice website. You will need a password to open this spreadsheet, which can be obtained by emailing email@example.com
This form will be updated to deal with the new "flexible furloughing" arrangements in place from 1 July (see below: Flexible Furlough Calculations)
Add information about your organisation and employees who have been furloughed to this spreadsheet. This information must be complete and accurate, otherwise your claim may be rejected by HMRC. Of particular note:
If you are unsure of your PAYE reference number the bureau can provide
When you have completed this spreadsheet, email to the payroll bureau for them to claim on your behalf. You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt. Do not remove or change the password.
If the status of your employees changes, for example if a furlough end date is amended or you have furloughed another member of staff, send an updated version of this spreadsheet to firstname.lastname@example.org making clear in your email what information you have changed
Furlough grants cannot be claimed in advance of employees being paid. The payroll bureau will convert the information on this spreadsheet into monthly claims to HMRC, which will arrive separately in your bank account.
If you use another payroll bureau you should contact them as soon as possible to confirm that they are able to process claims for you and what information they require to do this
A new spreadsheet is availableif you have employees who are flexibly furloughed and you use the Methodist payroll bureau. For those employees not doing any work, continue to use the original spreadsheet. Some of the data required on the flexible furlough spreadsheet requires careful calculation, and is not entirely clear from the descriptions on the spreadsheet:
Furlough start date and end date – unless your employee is ending their furlough before the end of the month, these will be the first and last day of the month you are claiming for. You will need to submit a new form each month
Full monthly pay – this is the "usual pay" as you were using for months up to and including June. For employees with fixed monthly pay it will be the same every month, for employees with variable pay it may change each month.
Actual Hours worked for the Full Monthly Pay in column F – this is the "usual hours" your employee would have worked had they not been on furlough. It must be calculated as follows (detailed HMRC guidance):
For employees with fixed weekly hours:
For employees with variable weekly hours, work out the average hours per day as either the average hours for 12 months ended 31 March 2020 and hours worked in the equivalent month last year, depending on how you calculate "usual pay".
Actual Hours worked for Part-Time Pay in column H – this is the hours your flexibly furloughed employee worked during the month (for which you will have kept detailed records), to the nearest whole number
Part time Pay (for those coming back on part-time basis) – this calculates the proportion of pay that you cannot claim furlough grants against.
A full worked calculation (which does include national insurance calculations not relevant to us) is available from HMRC
If you calculate and submit your own payroll you will need to follow HMRC guidance to submit monthly grant claims.
Contact your circuit treasurer or Neil Harland if you are still unsure what to do having read this guidance.
Further Connexional guidance relating to coronavirus and employees can be found at methodist.org.uk/for-churches/employees-and-volunteers/lay-employment-advisory-information/
This page also contains the Lay Employment Advisory Pack, which includes procedures which must be followed in recruitment and management of all lay employees.
Government advice for employers can be found at gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses