Coronavirus job retention scheme: more updates

2 mins

Posted on 04 May 2020

At the end of last week, the Government made a series of further changes to its job retention scheme guidance to clarify areas of concern for employers.  

Key for employers who may need to consider redundancies is confirmation that furloughed employees who are union or non-union representatives may undertake duties and activities for the purpose of individual or collective representation without falling foul of the “no work” rule. However, in doing this, they must not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their employer or a linked or associated organisation.

The updated guidance also confirms that:

  • A period of furlough can be extended by any amount of time (so an extension does not have to be for a minimum of three weeks)  
  • A new employer can claim under the scheme in respect of employees of a previous business who TUPE transferred to them after 28 February 2020 (the previous guidance said 19 March and was widely considered to be incorrect) 
  • Company directors with an annual pay period can claim, so long as they meet the other qualifying conditions. This includes being notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020, which relates to a payment of earnings in the 19/20 tax year
  • Employees on maternity leave getting Maternity Allowance who agree to be furloughed should tell Jobcentre Plus to stop their Maternity Allowance.  

You can see the updated guidance here.

The government also made changes to the How to claim guidance and the guidance on calculating 80% of an employee’s wages.

The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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