Last month we reported on the extension of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). So, what more do we know now that we didn’t know then?
In early guidance published by the government, they indicated that they were looking at changing the way in which the scheme works. In particular, they hinted at the prospect that they might restrict the employer’s ability to use the scheme to pay employees who are working out their notice. Until now, this has been perfectly lawful. Well, the latest Treasury Direction published by the Government in the last few days has confirmed that with effect from 1 December 2020, employers will no longer be able to claim under the furlough scheme for employees working out their notice period.
Another interesting development is that HMRC now intends to publish information about the identity of those employers claiming under the furlough scheme, including details of the amounts they have claimed. The precise purpose of this practice is not entirely clear. Presumably, it is not an attempt to ‘name and shame’ employers, as such. Instead, perhaps it is a means by which they hope to increase transparency, making it more difficult (and more risky) for businesses to submit questionable claims, thus increasing the prospect of closer adherence to the rules.
Finally, all employers need to pay careful attention to the new deadlines by which they must submit their claims under the extended furlough scheme. Typically, at the end of each month, employers will have only a couple of weeks in which to make their claim for the preceding month, with very limited scope to make claims out of time.
So, what now?
If you need advice on how to ensure that you get the most out of the extended furlough scheme, please get in touch.