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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Updated Guidance

Date: 20/04/2020 | COVID-19, Healthcare, Commercial Property, Corporate, Employment & HR, Dispute Resolution, Energy & Natural Resources, Environmental, Planning, Residential Development, Construction, Business & Professional Services, Blogs

The Government has published updated Guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. A copy of the Guidance is available here.

Issues that have been clarified are:

  1. Employees may be moved from sickpay to furlough and vice versa.
  2. Employers can furlough shielding employees.
  3. Employees transferred under TUPE after 28 February 2020 may be furloughed.
  4. Employees can be furloughed, brought back to work, then furloughed again (provided each furlough period is at least three weeks).
  5. Employers must notify employees of their furlough status in writing and secure the employees written agreement to furlough. Employers must keep a record of that written notification and agreement for five years.
  6. Employers can claim for any regular payments they are obliged to pay their employees. This includes wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. Discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments are excluded.
  7. Employees may take annual leave during a period of furlough. Employers will have to top up employee pay to their normal contractual pay and claim back only the 80% under the Scheme.
  8. HMRC Online Portal. The online portal has opened today, 20 April, with the first reimbursements to be made on 30 April.

Other developments:

Qualifying Date

The qualifying date, when the employee has to have been on the employer's payroll, has changed from 28 February to 19 March 2020.


For further information on the practicalities of furloughing employees, please read our separate article.

If you require any Employment Law advice, please contact our employment specialist Alan Strain.

The matter in this publication is based on our current understanding of the law.  The information provides only an overview of the law in force at the date hereof and has been produced for general information purposes only. Professional advice should always be sought before taking any action in reliance of the information. Accordingly, Davidson Chalmers Stewart LLP does not take any responsibility for losses incurred by any person through acting or failing to act on the basis of anything contained in this publication.

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