We are sorry that there are yet more updates on Furlough leave and how employers can claim back 80% of the wage. The good news?…
1) HMRC”s Portal will open on 20 April with the first payments expected to be made by Friday 8 May
The HMRC portal is now expected to be open 24 hours a day for employers 20 April 2020. The first payments should be made on 30 April 2020 and the aim is that payments will generally be made within 4 to 6 working days.
A guidance document on how to compile claims will be released within the next week; the aim is to ensure that employers can self-serve and get claims ready for submission by 20 April 2020; A helpline is available.
Employers who run weekly payroll can submitted claims weekly. One claim can be made per pay period, weekly or monthly and can be made 14 days before the end of the pay period.
HMRC say there is a hotline for employees to report abuse, if there is evidence of a breach of the rules now, claims will not be paid. There is the ability to check claims well into the future (furlough documents must be kept for 5 years) and HMRC may well look for evidence of employees continuing to work while furloughed. Depending on the level of abuse employer could face criminal proceedings.
(We must thank Daniel Krigars of Chadwick Lawrence for enduring a 2 hour broadcast of a Parliamentary Select Committee which interviewed senior HMRC officials).
2) Employees who TUPE’d after 28 February can be placed on furlough leave
We have now been aware of an email from H M Treasury to David Johnstone MP dated 6th April 2020 at 10.55am which confirms that transferring employees on TUPE transfers after 28th February 2020 will be eligible for furlough leave.
3) It is possible to take annual leave when on furlough
HMRC Customer Support tweeted that it is possible to take annual leave when on furlough, and it must be paid at full pay.