There have been further insights into what else we can expect with regards to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
HMRC Online Portal
Firstly, it was confirmed at a Parliamentary Select Committee meeting on 8 April 2020 that the HMRC online portal will be open for employers to use on 20 April 2020. HMRC have said it will be ready and working with first payments being made by 30 April 2020. It is expected to take 4-6 working days for money to reach business bank accounts. There is to be 1 claim for each pay period, rather than each month.
Live testing has already started, and it was reported in the Guardian that they will be able to process up to 450,000 claims per hour. A guidance document is expected to be published in the next week on how to use the system.
Interestingly, HMRC have confirmed that businesses can claim 14 days before payroll is run.
There has been no guidance on what happens to those employees who were transferred under TUPE after 28 February 2020. As the employees in the new employer will not have been on their payroll on the 28 February 2020, in accordance with the guidance they would not be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
However, HM Treasury sent an email to David Johnston MP, stating that employees who were transferred to a new employer after the 28 February will be eligible for furlough. This has not been officially confirmed but it is an insight of what may be coming.
Holidays and Furlough leave
The guidance is still silent on what happens with holidays whilst being on furlough leave. Our advice to date has been to pay employees full pay for any holiday taken during furlough and HMRC’s Customer Twitter account recently advised people that if employees are on holiday whilst they are on furlough they would be entitled to their full pay. This is obviously not official advice, however, it could be an indicator of what can be expected in the next update of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.