On Friday 13th November 2020, HMRC published The Coronavirus Act 2020 Functions of her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) Direction. This formally introduces the extended furlough scheme and withdraws the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus. It also confirms a few important points signalled in the earlier guidance.
Redundancy Notice Periods
As highlighted in our last blog post on this topic (please click here), the Government was considering whether employers should be entitled to claim for those employees who are serving contractual or statutory notice periods whilst on furlough leave over this extended period.
This has now been confirmed which states clearly that an employer cannot claim the furlough grant for any days on or after 1 December 2020, during which an employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period.
Returning from Parental Leave
We also noted in our last blog that, “if that employee is to enter into a furlough agreement upon their return [from maternity leave], the employer and the employee cannot agree a shorter period of notice [less than the statutory eight weeks required] for an early return”.
The updated guidance now states that that an employee will need to give their employer at least eight weeks’ notice of their return from maternity leave but that a shorter period can be agreed. An employee returning from maternity leave will not be eligible for furlough until the end of eight weeks’ notice or the date that they have agreed to return to work (which for the avoidance of doubt, may be earlier than eight weeks as long as the employer agrees this with the employee). Clearly such an agreement should be recorded in writing.
HMRC will now publish details of all employers claiming a furlough payment for staff including a ‘reasonable indication’ of the amount claimed save where the publication of that information would expose their workforce to ‘serious risk of violence or intimidation’.
Should you have any questions or require any advice in relation to the Furlough Scheme, please contact Linky Trott or any member of the Employment team. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as the situation develops.
If you aren’t receiving our legal updates directly to your mailbox, please sign up now
Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.
Edwin Coe LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England & Wales (No.OC326366). The Firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office address: 2 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London, WC2A 3TH. “Partner” denotes a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with the equivalent standing.