With the scheme confirmed to go live on 20 April, more helpful information is now available about its operation. We look at the new points to note.
- The first reimbursements will be made on 30 April. Payments will take four to six days to be processed, to allow HMRC to carry out fraud checks. HMRC will consider criminal proceedings where they identify fraudulent claims.
- Although not yet in the current guidance, the Treasury has told an MP that employees who transferred to a new employer, by virtue of TUPE, on or after 28 February 2020 are eligible for furlough leave provided they were on the old employer’s PAYE payroll as at that date.
- Another point not in the official guidance is that employers should include overtime in their calculation of variable pay. Also, if a salaried employee earns regular overtime, you should calculate their pay in the same way as you do for those whose pay varies.
- ACAS says it is possible to take annual leave during furlough leave. Employers must pay this at normal holiday pay (calculated as if they were not on furlough leave). ACAS has updated its guidance on using holidays during the pandemic. For upcoming bank holidays, if employees are on furlough leave, you may still treat the days as holiday, but you must pay them normal holiday pay, rather than furlough pay, if you do.
- There will be a hotline for employees to report employers who breach the rules, such as by asking them to carry out work during furlough leave.
HMRC will issue further guidance about how to claim in advance of the scheme going live on 20 April.