Here’s our latest update on what we know now about furlough leave and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) 9th April 2020
HMRC Portal Open from 20th April
HMRC have declared that the online applications portal for the CJRS grants will be open from 20th April 2020, with payments expected from 30th April 2020. HMRC believe the portal can handle 450,000 applications per hour, but their call centre may crash if there is a problem. In addition:
1. HMRC expect to process all future applications within 4-6 days, to enable anti-fraud checks.
2. Applications can be made dependent on pay frequencies, so weekly, fortnightly or monthly in most cases.
3. Applications can be made 14 days in advance of the wages being paid.
4. HMRC are launching a hotline for whistle blowing on employers acting fraudulently.
5. Fraudulent claims will be dealt with as criminal activities [see our previous articles on the rules, such as no work and retention of furlough letters for 5 years].
TUPE Rules Update
Where contracts for services change hands after 28th February 2020, and TUPE rules (Transfer of Undertaking [Protection of Employment] Regulations 2006) apply, then protected workers can be furloughed. The rules currently say that employees that were not on payroll before 28th February 2020 cannot be furloughed, but this does not apply to workers protected under TUPE.
Taking Annual Leave While on Furlough
It is widely accepted, but still absent within the furlough rules, that holidays can be taken, and indeed enforced with double the notice, without breaking the 3-week period thus allowing the grant application to continue. Holiday pay must be paid at the normal rate of pay, which will mean topping up the grant received.
THSP’s employment law team are happy to discuss these matters. Phone 03456 122144 or complete a contact form to request a consultation.
Director, Employment Law