The Government (yet again and twice in 24 hours!) updated its guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on Friday, 1 May. The key developments are:

  1. Furloughed employees who are union or non-union representatives can undertake employee representative duties and activities for the purpose of individual or collective representation whilst furloughed.
  2. Company directors who are paid annually are eligible to claim, if they meet the relevant conditions of the scheme.
  3. Employees who TUPE transferred from a previous business “after 28 February 2020” (changed from 19 March 2020) can now claim under the scheme.
  4. Where a group of companies have multiple PAYE schemes and there is a transfer of all employees into a new consolidated PAYE scheme after 28 February, the new scheme can be used to furlough those employees.
  5. Furloughed employees who move to family leave (maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental leave and (for GB only) parental bereavement leave) on or after 25 April 2020 may need their average weekly earnings calculated in a particular way (i.e. it will be based on normal pay not furlough pay).
  6. Employers can claim for enhanced (earnings related) contractual pay for employees who qualify for either maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay, shared parental pay and (in GB only) parental bereavement pay.
  7. CJRS grants are not classed as state aid.
  8. A new section on maternity allowance (MA) which says that if an employee receives MA whilst on maternity leave, she should not receive furlough pay at the same time. If the employee has agreed to furlough, she should contact the Jobcentre Plus to stop her MA payments. If the employee agrees to be put on furlough and ends maternity leave early, the employee will need to give her employer at least 8 weeks’ notice and the employee will not be eligible for furlough pay until the end of the 8 weeks.
  9. New links have been added to help and support pages if your business is affected by COVID-19, which includes videos and free webinars. A further new link to guidance on the changes in apprenticeship learning arrangements has also been added.

A link to the updated Government guidance can be found here.

This article does not constitute legal advice and specific advice should be sought in respect of particular cases.