Furlough guidance on notice updated
Three days after publishing its guidance on the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), HMRC updated it to deal with notice. A Treasury Direction (TD) has also been published.
On the evening of Friday, the 13th of November, HMRC updated its guidance on the CJRS covering the period 1 November to 31 January 2021 (when the scheme will be reassessed). HM Treasury also published another Treasury Direction which underpins the guidance. HMRC guidance is exactly what it says on the tin but a TD has some sort of legal standing, although its precise legal standing is unclear. The TD is long and not very user friendly but here are the important bits. Our furlough Q&As have been updated to reflect this.
Furlough and employees serving notice – changes from 1 December
The guidance and the TD are all aligned in confirming that an employee serving any kind of notice cannot be claimed for under the furlough scheme from 1 December 2020. This includes resignation and notice of retirement.
What is less clear is the situation between 1st-30th November. The TD says nothing about not being able to claim for employees serving notice in this period. The employer’s guidance says that only employees serving statutory notice can be claimed for (one week for every complete year worked) but the employee’s guidance says that the employer can claim for employees if they are serving either statutory or contractual notice. Given the strict claim periods it might be better to utilise the TD’s silence and the employee’s guide and claim for both statutory and contractual and adjust this if it turns out to be wrong.
CJRS Bonus scheme – officially abandoned
The TD officially revokes this - because the extended furlough scheme supersedes it.
There are minimum claim periods of 7 days. This does not mean there is a minimum period of furlough - employers can furlough for any period and any hours. The maximum claim periods are calendar months and claims and amendments must be made to a strict timetable (although HMRC says it will consider an extension of both dates in special circumstances):
November 2020 claims
Claim by 14 December
Amend by 29 December
December 2020 claims
Claim by 14 January
Amend by 28 January
January 2021 claim
Claim by 15 February
Relevant date for salary
If the employee (widely defined) worked for you on 19 March 2020 and you submitted an RTI submission on or before then, then it is the salary at that date – if not then it is 30 October 2020.
Publication of employer details
HMRC will publish further details about what it intends to put into the public domain about who has claimed under the CJRS in December. However, what we do know is that it will be the employer name and company registration number (if applicable) and the approximate value of the claim. HMRC will consider applications not to publish this information if an employer can show that publicising these would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to certain individuals, or any individual living with them.
Those individuals include:
- employers that are individuals - the employer themselves, or any employee of the employer
- employers that are companies - a director, officer or employee of that company
- employers that are partnerships - a partner, officer or employee of that partnership
- employers that are LLPs - a member or employee of that LLP
- trustees of a trust - a settlor, trustee or beneficiary of the trust
Evidence of this perceived threat could include:
- a police incident number if you’ve been threatened or attacked
- documentary evidence of a threat or attack, such as photos or recordings
- evidence of possible disruption or targeting