When can an Employee return from furlough?

Does the CJRS require employees to return from furlough to coincide with the end of a wage period?

CJRS is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme often described as the Furlough Scheme.

We have just assisted in a case where an employer proposed to re-engage employees during a wage period in which a furlough payment had been claimed.

The problem is that when applying for a furlough payment a declaration has to be given to the effect that the employee will be on furlough for the wage period in issue.  No employer wishes to be in breach of the furlough scheme as it confers such valuable benefits to employers employees.

HMRC expressed the view that this was not possible due to the claim which had already been made.  The return to work therefore had to coincide with the start of the next wage period. 

As matters stand we are not aware of specific government guidance saying how the end of a period of furlough has to operate. 

The safest bet for the time being is to ensure return dates post date any wage period in which a furlough payment has been claimed for the full period.

It is anticipated this will be covered when further details are provided in relation to the updating of the furlough arrangements to take effect from 1 August.

If you have an Employment Law enquiry please contact our team on 01256 320555 or email mail@clarkeandson.co.uk.

Paul Cowdery

Partner & Head of Employment Law

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