Can a UK based company claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for a UK employee who is working overseas (eg USA) under a UK contract of employment?

Can a UK based company claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for a UK employee who is working overseas (eg USA) under a UK contract of employment?

Produced in partnership with Samantha Bainham of Baker Mackenzie

There is no express geographic restriction in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS) Treasury directions, or the CRJS guidance. However, the directions require that the employee was on the UK employer's payroll in tax year 2019–20. This means a Real Time Information submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HM Revenue and Customs must have been made on or before 19 March 2020. Accordingly, if, for example, the employee had switched to a non-UK payroll prior to tax year 2019–20, no CRJS claim could be made in respect of that employee.

The above payroll requirement is contained in the original (first and second) CJRS Treasury directions:

• The Coronavirus Act 2020 Functions of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) Direction (No 1)

• The Coronavirus Act 2020 Functions of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) Direction (No 2)

It is imported into the current (third) Treasury direction: The Coronavirus Act 2020 Functions of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) Direction (No 3), which requires, among other things, that the employer made a claim for the employee in accordance with the original directions on or before 31 July 2020, for a period ending on or before 30 June 2020.

The other employee eligibility requirements are that:

• the employee ceased all work for a period of 21 calendar days or more beginning on or before 10 June 2020

• is on furlough (either full-time or flexible) pursuant to an agreement, and has received the instruction not to work during furlough

• the instruction is given by reason of circumstances arising as a result of coronavirus

For further information, see Practice Notes:

• Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (revised version from 1 July 2020), in particular the section: Which employees the employer can put on furlough and claim for

• Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (original version to 30 June 2020), in particular the section: Which employees the employer can claim for

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