EMPLOYMENT LAW

Latest updates to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

On 30 April 2020 HMRC issued further guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) addressing five specific areas in need of clarification. We have summarised those areas below. It would appear that the guidance is now pretty comprehensive with two outstanding issues being the taking of leave and calculation of holiday pay. More detail on these may follow.

 1. TUPE

The updated guidance states that “a new employer is eligible to claim under the CJRS in respect of the employees of a previous business transferred after 28 February 2020 if either the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership.” The last HMRC guidance referred to 19 March 2020 prohibited claims if the employer had not made a RTI submission in time. This clarified position is welcome news for those employees who have been subject to a TUPE transfer, as it brings more people in scope – albeit the numbers of transfers post 28th February 2020 are probably minimal...

2. Union or non-union representative duties

One aspect of the CJRS guidance which has been very clear is that workers are not allowed to perform any work whilst furloughed. However the latest guidance confirms that furloughed employees can undertake “union or non-union representative duties and activities for the purpose of an individual or collective representation of employees or other workers” without this being deemed as work. This enables representatives to accompany workers throughout any formal meetings in their employment. This is particularly relevant should an employer commence redundancy consultation prior to 30 June 2020 (when the CJRS is expected to end).

3. Period of furlough

HMRC have clarified that although workers must be furloughed for a minimum period of three weeks “each period of furlough can be extended for any period of time.” Therefore if an employee has been furloughed for three weeks’ already they do not need the furlough period to be extended for a further minimum period of three weeks. Please note however if the furlough period is broken by a short period of return to work any subsequent period of furlough must be for at least three weeks to qualify for the grant.

4. Family leave

Employees who have been furloughed and then started leave on or after 25 April 2020 by reason of maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental or bereavement leave may receive any enhanced (earnings related) contractual pay (subject to the usual qualifying criteria) in respect of maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental or parental bereavement pay.

5. Company directors with an annual pay period

The latest guidance clarifies that company directors who are paid annually are eligible to claim, as long as they meet the relevant conditions. This includes being notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020, which relates to a payment of earnings in the 19/20 tax year.

 

Should you require advice or assistance in relation to any of the above please do get in touch with Jan Cunningham or David Mitchell in our Employment Team.

X
X
X
X
X

X

 

X
X
X
X