Demonstrating a penchant for publishing revisions of the Scheme when nobody is at work, HMRC has just published the third version of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance for employers.
Three big changes, and several little ones.
The big ones:-
- employers are free to switch employees from sickpay to furlough and vice versa, although this should not be abused by using furlough to 'top up' small amounts of SSP for short term absences. Also, clarification that employers can furlough 'shielding' employees, and they do not have to be placed on sickpay.
- confirmation that those with certain work visas will not be regarded as breaching their visa conditions if they receive funds under the furlough scheme: "Grants under the scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can furlough employees on all categories of visa."
- we have the answer to the TUPE question - employers of newly TUPE'd employees can put them on furlough: "A new employer is eligible to claim under the CJRS in respect of the employees of a previous business transferred after 28th February 2020 if either the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership."
The little ones:-
- clarification that the reclaimable NI and pension elements are on the furlough salary, not normal salary.
- stating that employees cannot work for organisations that are linked to the employer, as well as not working for the employer, when on furlough.
- businesses that engaged in payroll consolidation schemes after 28 February can place employees on furlough.
- no part of the reclaimed grant can be siphoned off to fund benefits; the entire grant must be paid to the employee (with no deductions for fees, administration charges etc..
Also important: www.employmentwebinars.co.uk - please have a look.