Latest briefing on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

With the online portal now open, and the first grants expected to be made within the next 5 working days (on or before 28 April 2020), we summarise below, and in more detail in our updated note, the latest position in relation to the Scheme and its operation:

  • The Scheme has been extended to 30 June 2020
  • The formal legal framework for the Scheme has now been published (click here)
  • Detailed guidance on how to submit a claim is now available for employers (click here)
  • The decision to furlough staff must be causally connected with the pandemic, but it is not a condition that furloughed employees would otherwise have been made redundant
  • The no-work rule is absolute; there is no de-minimis level. However, employees who attend their own disciplinary/grievance meetings and ‘virtual’ social catch-ups will not breach the no-work rule
  • HMRC will check claims being made via the portal with payments being withheld or needing to be repaid in full if a claim is fraudulent and/or based on dishonest or inaccurate information
  • An online portal has been created for employees and the public to report suspected fraud or malpractice by employers claiming grants from the Scheme
  • Having some evidence of an employee’s agreement to have their contract varied and be placed on furlough leave is advisable where there is a reduction in pay

There have been many changes with the scheme over the past few weeks and if you are left scratching your head then please pick up the phone to Tiggy (07943 842404) or Emma (07912 395695) who will give you clear advice on the steps you need to take.