Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Update

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The Government has published more guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – please see here.

This is very helpful and self explanatory. Please note that there is one big (but helpful) U-turn in the guidance, namely, it now states that employers,

“can claim for any regular payments you are obliged to pay your employees. This includes wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. However, discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments should be excluded.”

Previously, the guidance had stated “Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included.”

Further, it is interesting to note that Furloughed employees can work for another employer if the contract of employment allows this. Presumably, as a contract of employment can be varied by mutual agreement, it means that an employer can allow an employee to get another job during Furlough Leave. Until now, the government guidance had been silent on this.

However, there are still several questions that need answering. In particular, two key questions employers would really like answers to that are yet to be clarified by the government are as follows:-

Can Furloughed employees take or be put on holiday during Furlough Leave?

If Furloughed employees can take holiday how much does the employer have to pay them? Specifically, is it 80% of their salary capped at £2,500 (gross) a month or 100% of normal salary?

With bank holidays looming and other pre booked annual leave over Easter these are questions that need answering by the government and very soon.

Astons Solicitors
4th April 2020