Further Furlough updates

HMRC love a Friday night update! So here’s the latest roundup of updated guidance for you!  The updated guidance covers the 1st November to the 31st December 2020, as we are told that the scheme will be reviewed again in January. Be prepared for further changes, and I would predict a reduction in Government contribution levels being a key change.

CJRS Bonus scheme that would have paid you £1000 for retaining furloughed employees in your business has been officially abandoned

The  new Directive officially revokes this, because the extended furlough scheme supersedes it.

Employees serving notice – changes from 1 December

The guidance and the Directive 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 employees who have resigned or serving notice of retirement.

What is less clear is the situation between 1-30 November! The Directive 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 (1 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 Directive’s silence and the employee’s guide (download it as a PDF) and claim for both statutory and contractual and adjust this if it turns out to be wrong!

Claim periods

There are minimum claim periods of 7 days. This does not mean there is a minimum period of furlough – you 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 say they will consider an extension of both dates in special circumstances):

November claims:            Claim by 14 December                                 Amend by 29 December

December claims:            Claim by 14 January                                      Amend by 28 January

January claims:                Claim by 15 February                                    Amend by 1 March

Relevant date for salary

If the employee 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 they intend to put into the public domain about who has claimed through the Furlough scheme. Like all things of this nature, if you have claimed fairly, you have nothing to worry bout. If you have abused the scheme, be warned. What we do know at this stage is that the information published 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 you can show that publicising this information 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 limited liability partnerships – a member or employee of that limited liability partnership
  • 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

If you are unsure of anything to do with the new scheme and would like to book a call with me – you can access my diary right here!  http://bit.ly/CallMerakiHR