HMRC publishes full guidance on the extended furlough scheme

Please Note: All information correct at time of writing on 11 November 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check the government website for updates as they happen.

On the 10 November, HMRC published a full set of guidance papers on the extended furlough scheme and it’s important you’re aware of what the guidance entails so you can make the best decisions amongst your workforce.

What’s the maximum number of employees who can be included in a claim?

From 1 November 2020 there is no limit to the number of employees who can be included in a claim.

Notice periods

Although the extended scheme continues to allow furlough to be claimed during notice periods, the government is reviewing this position “and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December”.

Further government guidance will be published on this later this month.

Organisations who receive public funding

Under the extended furlough scheme rules, where staff costs are publicly funded, the position remains that organisations should continue paying their staff and not put them on furlough.

Where public funds only partially pay for staff costs, the guidance states that those organisations should “contact their sponsor department or respective administration for further guidance.”

TUPE

The new guidance from HMRC states that from 1 November, new employers can claim for staff transferred under TUPE where “they were employed by their previous employer on or before 30 October and transferred to their new employer on or before 1 September.”

HMRC have confirmed on Twitter that this is a mistake, and it should read that employees have transferred on or after 1 September.

Rehiring employees

Employees who were on payroll on or before 23 September but stopped working after this date, can be re-employed and put on the furlough scheme. To qualify, the employee must have been included in a Real Time Information (RTI) submission between 20 March and 23 September.

Ending maternity leave early to go on furlough

The guidance says that “if your employee decides to end their maternity leave early to enable them to be furloughed (with your agreement), they will need to give you at least 8 weeks’ notice of their return to work and you will not be able to furlough them until the end of the 8 weeks.”

This seems to suggest that this applies regardless of the employer and employee reaching agreement to waive or shorten this notice.

Employees are only required to give this notice where their employer has informed them in writing of the date their maternity leave period will come to an end. If this has not been done, technically the requirement to give 8 weeks’ notice does not apply. The guidance does not cover this situation, and should it arise, we recommend that you contact HMRC for further guidance on the point.

Public listing of organisations using the scheme

From 1 December HMRC will publish a list of businesses using the scheme from that date.

To have a read of the previously published guidance on the extended furlough scheme please click here.

Citation with you every step of the way

If you’d like more information on the extended furlough scheme, give our experts a call, available 24/7, 365 days a year, on 0345 844 4848.

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