Job Retention Scheme - Clarifications

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Jayne Turner | 27th March 2020

Job Retention Scheme - Clarifications
Since the government announced its job retention scheme we have been inundated with calls from clients asking about details. We are not always able to answer these as not all details and scenarios have been covered but we have received some clarification on the following points. 
In order to furlough employees they have to agree to this. Please try and obtain acceptance of furloughing from employees as soon as possible.
Other clarifications include:
  • Period of furlough - Employees must be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks.
  • Holidays - We don't yet have full details on how furloughing will impact upon annual leave.
  • Self-isolation - If an employee has been assessed as high risk and informed to self isolate for 12 weeks then you can immediately furlough them.
  • Eligibility - Employees must have been on the payroll on 28 February 2020. If made redundant since 28 February and subsequently rehired, they can be furloughed. If hired after 28 February employees cannot be furloughed.
  • Agency/Zero hours - Employees on agency, zero hours or flexible contracts can be furloughed.
  • SSP - If employees are on sick leave or self-isolating on SSP the can be furloughed after the period of SSP has ended.
  • Directors - Directors can be furloughed as long as not undertaking any work for the company. Refund will only cover salary payments (not dividends).
  • Anti-abuse - HMRC will review recent payslips to prevent abuse of the system by increasing wages.
  • Portal - Once the refund portal is open a claim can only be made once every three weeks, and only in arrears.
The full guidance from the government can be found here