As expected, the Government have published more updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This was on the evening of 9 April 2020 (helpfully just before Easter weekend!)
Updated major key areas
Sick pay and furlough
If employers want to furlough employees for business reasons and they are currently off sick, employees can then switch from sick pay to furlough, however, this must not be used for short term absences, and there is a 3 week minimum furlough period.
Strangely, there is guidance for those who become sick while furloughed. The guidance state that employers can decide whether they move employees from being furloughed on to Statutory Sick Pay. Why would an employee inform their employer they are sick to then be moved from a furloughed rate to SSP? Why would an employer want to deal with the additional administration of this process?
Work visas and furlough
The guidance confirmed that those with certain work visas will still be able to be furloughed and not in breach of their visa conditions.
TUPE and furlough
It has been confirmed ( further to us reporting last week that it was expected) that those who have transferred to a new employer under TUPE after 28 February 2020 will be eligible to be furloughed and their new employer be able to claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This will be a welcome relief for those it affects!
Other small updates to the scheme
- Confirmation that reclaimable NI and pension elements are on the furlough salary and not normal salary.
- The guidance states that employees cannot work for companies that are “linked” to the employer, in addition to not working for the employer, when on furlough.
- Businesses that engaged in payroll consolidation schemes after 20 February 2020 can place employees on furlough.
- The entire grant reclaimed must be paid to the employee (there cannot be deductions for administration charges).