The introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) commonly known as “Furlough” has changed the lexicon of businesses. Its implications will reach far further than the simple placing of employees on Furlough and extensive and complex legal and economic issues for business will arise from it.
We have put together a specific cross-disciplinary team to address particular issues arising from Furlough.
HMRC – reclaiming furlough payments
Since CJRS was first announced on 20 March 2020, there have been numerous updates and variations to the scheme. Given the complexity and changing guidance in this area, there will be many circumstances where claims have been made for the furlough grants incorrectly across a range of culpability, from innocent mistakes to deliberate fraud and the whole range in between.
HMRC has already started investigations into reclaiming furlough payments which were claimed incorrectly and are requesting access to communications including email, phone records and web browsing histories to assist its investigations into erroneous furlough claims. It can request those records from telecoms networks as well as the employer and can examine if calls were being made to employees by their employer whilst they were on furlough to establish if the employee was in fact working.
Whilst innocent errors are unlikely to lead to a criminal prosecution, there may still be demands for repayment, interest and costs at a time when a business can ill afford it. For fraudulent claims under the furlough scheme, the consequences are of course much more serious not only for the business but for the individual directors and officers party to fraudulent claims.
Contact the Team
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates as they become available. The guidance is changing almost daily and as such it is important to monitor updates as further clarification is published. If you do have any issues, please contact Linky Trott or any member of the Furlough Advice & Support Team.
- Furlough and Bounce Back Loan abuse; HMRC to receive additional £100m to support Taxpayer Protection Taskforce
- Furlough 3.0 – New Guidance Issued: Non Sickness Absences and Furlough
- Furlough Extended… Again
- Furlough Official
- Keep Calm and Furlough On
- The Furlough Scheme: Extended Again
- Lockdown 2.0 – Furlough Scheme Extended
- Furlough Leave – Employees to receive redundancy payments in full and more details on Job Retention Bonus
- Furlough Leave – Furlough Clawback and Fines
- Furlough Leave – Clarification on Notice Periods
- Fear of furlough? – HMRC make first arrest for fraud
- £1000 for Furlough but beware penalties
- One Alarm Bell: Flexible Furlough: New Treasury Direction, 26 June 2020
- Furlough Leave: changes to the scheme
- Covid-19: Can workers be required to return to work?
- Furlough – have you extended?
- Furlough leave: Rishi Sunak expected to end new applications to the scheme
- Furlough leave: New Treasury Direction 22 May 2020
- Will employers be required to enter into new furlough agreements with employees?
- Furloughing longer
- Issues arising out of the UK’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Webinar: Furlough? Employee? Employer? Everything you want to know about but are afraid to ask – 22 April 2020
- Furlough – Short Update 22 April 2020
- Furlough Leave update as at 20 April 2020
- Furlough Leave: Further Information – HMRC Direction 15 April 2020
- Carluccio’s and administration: the High Court allows administrators to furlough employees
- Why is 17 April 2020 relevant for employers with furloughed staff?
- Furlough Leave update – how to claim it
- Furlough Leave – updates issued by Government on Saturday 4 April 2020, revised guidance from ACAS on holiday on 2 April 2020 and tricky issues to be aware of
- Coronavirus and UK Immigration: global closures of visa application and biometric enrolment centres
- Assistance for the self-employed
- Rules on carrying over annual leave
- Furlough Leave: Further Information
- Furlough Leave
- Practical considerations for employers
- Recent changes to Statutory Sick Pay
Please visit our Covid-19 Resource Centre for the most up to date information.
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Chambers UK 2018