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CJRS: re-engaged employees

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The CJRS specifically addresses the situation where an employer has made redundancies on or after 28 February but subsequently re-employs the individuals and puts them on furlough. Even where the period of re-employment begins after 19 March, such individuals can be furloughed and a claim made for their wages under the scheme.

HMRC guidance does not make clear, however, whether employees in this situation must have stopped working before 19 March (before being re-engaged) in order to qualify for the scheme. In an updated briefing paper, the House of Commons Library (in FAQ 14) notes the apparent inconsistency on this point in HMRC guidance, and that the Treasury Direction appears not to clarify the issue.

The briefing paper quotes employment law barrister and commentator Darren Newman who points out the more pressing practical obstacle: employers are unlikely to re-employ staff they have previously dismissed simply in order to place them on furlough. Newman comments: ‘To be blunt, what is in it for the employer? They incur the cost of administering the employee’s furlough pay and face potential legal difficulties when the furlough period ends.’

Issue: 1485
Categories: News