COVID-19: HMRC release update on Job Retention Scheme

COVID-19: HMRC release update on Job Retention Scheme

Over the weekend, HMRC and the Government have released several updates on the Job Retention Scheme. To ensure you are fully up to date with the latest guidance, we’ve summarised these updates below.

Statutory Sick Pay and the Retention Scheme

HRMC updated its statutory payments manual to specify that employees on furlough are not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay. In practice, this means that although an employer can claim from the SSP rebate scheme and the CJRS in respect of the same employee, you cannot access both the schemes for the same period of time.

Annual Leave

The Government have now confirmed officially that employees can take annual leave whilst on furlough. Working Time Regulations (WTR) require holiday pay to be paid at an employee’s normal rate of pay or, where their rate of pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay they received in the previous 52 working weeks.

Employers will be obliged to pay the additional amounts over the grant, though will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need. This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period.

How to Furlough employees

HMRC have now stated they will only recognise furlough as valid “if the employer and employee have agreed in writing (which may be in an electronic form such as an email) that the employee will cease all work in relation to their employment”. This means that to place an employee on furlough requires actual written agreement that the employee will cease all work, regardless of any pre-existing contractual provisions.

If you have any questions about the new guidance or claiming through the scheme, please get in touch using the contact details below.

 +44 (0)1522 370190 | +44 (0)20 7110 0006 | +44 (0)1482 271273 | info@amicahr.co.uk

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