12 Aug Covid-19 and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – recent developments
There have been a few recent employment law related Covid-19 / Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) developments and issues which may be of interest.
- The government has recently published regulations requiring certain payments to employees to be calculated by reference to an employee’s normal rather than furlough pay. The payments covered by the regulations include notice pay, statutory redundancy pay and compensation for unfair dismissal.
- We have had an increasing number of enquiries from clients about pay for employees who return from a holiday abroad and have to quarantine for 14 days, and in particular whether these employees are entitled to be paid. Unless such employees are actually sick, they will not be entitled to SSP. If an employee who has to quarantine can work from home we recommend they should be allowed to and paid in the usual way. If such an employee can’t work from home , they can probably be placed on unpaid leave. However, we would advise employers to engage constructively with employees, considering options such as allowing the employee to take additional annual leave. Employees who find themselves in this situation should be treated consistently, in order to avoid discrimination and constructive dismissal claims.
- The government has also published details about its Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus Scheme. This entitles employers to reclaim a one off bonus of £1,000 for each employee who has been furloughed and remains in employment at 31st January 2021. The bonus will be taxable and employers cannot claim for employees who have been issued notice to terminate their employment prior to 1st February 2021. Further details as to how to claim the bonus will be published in September.
- The government has also published guidance regarding CJRS errors, confirming HMRC intends to recover the full amount through an income tax charge with interest and penalties. Penalties of up to 100% can be imposed where the employer’s failure was deliberate and concealed.
As always, if you have any queries please get in touch with your usual contact in the Bridge Employment Law Team. If you aren’t already a client of the firm, please contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org 01904 360295