The Government has confirmed that 185,000 businesses applied for the ‘furlough grant’ through the portal on day 1 (Monday) claiming a total sum of £1.5 billion for 1.3 million employees.

In relation to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) we stated in our blog of 15 April 2020, issued just after the Treasury Direction on the JRS was published:

“If an employee is on sick leave such that SSP is or could have been paid, at the time that the employer decides to seek agreement to furlough, that employee cannot be furloughed until that period of receipt of SSP has ended. At that point they can be furloughed. If they become sick during furlough the Direction from HMRC states that “any subsequent entitlement to SSP by virtue of the employee becoming unfit for work again.. must be disregarded”; this suggests that the employee would remain on furlough.”

This has now been clarified by HMRC’s latest published guidance which states that an employee would not qualify for SSP if they are on furlough leave. This seems to clarify therefore that an employee on furlough should remain on furlough even if they become sick

The team will continue to monitor and report on the situation as it develops. If you have any questions, please contact Linky Trott or any member of the Employment team. To review our previous updates, please click here.

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.

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