True to form the Govt / HMRC announced the latest version of the CJRS (furlough) on the evening before the weekend – Thursday 9 April this time!  In truth it updates just these key points and two of the big points will affect very few of you I think- point one being the most applicable to most of us.  No change needed to the standard furlough leave agreement.

Three big changes / clarifications, and several little ones.

The big ones:-

  • employers are free to switch employees from sick pay to furlough and vice versa, although this should not be abused by using furlough to ‘top up’ small amounts of SSP for short term absences.  Also, clarification that employers can furlough ‘shielding’ employees, and they do not have to be placed on sick pay.
  • confirmation that thosewith certain work visas will not be regarded as breaching their visa conditions if they receive funds under the furlough scheme: “Grants under the scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can furlough employees on all categories of visa.”
  • we have the answer to the TUPE question – employers of newly TUPEd employees can put them on furlough: “A new employer is eligible to claim under the CJRS in respect of the employees of a previous business transferred after 28th February 2020 if either the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership.”

The little ones:-

  • clarification that the reclaimable NI and pension elements are on the furlough salary, not normal salary.  (also note the reclaimable pension is only the statutory basic required % not any enhanced amounts you may have opted to pay)
  • stating that employees cannot work for organisations that are linked to the employer, as well as not working for the employer, when on furlough.
  • businesses that engaged in payroll consolidation schemes after 28 February can place employees on furlough.
  • no part of the reclaimed grant can be siphoned off to fund benefits; the entire grant must be paid to the employee (with no deductions for fees, administration charges etc.

Thank you to employment lawyer Daniel Barnett for summarising for us.

If you want to read it all here it is.

STILL NO MORE NEWS REGARDING HOLIDAY!  The best we’ve seen is a tweet from HMRC in response to a query stating that guidance on this will be issued this week – we wait with baited breath!  Who ever thought the best info we might be getting would be tweets from the tax man……?!

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