Q&As

If a worker whose normal rate of pay is just above the national minimum wage is designated as a ‘furloughed worker’ under the proposed coronavirus (COVID-19) job retention scheme (CJRS), and the 80% of wages that will be reimbursed by HMRC under the CJRS is therefore less than the national minimum wage, will the employer be in breach of the national minimum wage legislation if it does not fund the difference between the payment under the CJRS and the worker’s normal pay?

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Published on LexisPSL on 26/03/2020

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a worker whose normal rate of pay is just above the national minimum wage is designated as a ‘furloughed worker’ under the proposed coronavirus (COVID-19) job retention scheme (CJRS), and the 80% of wages that will be reimbursed by HMRC under the CJRS is therefore less than the national minimum wage, will the employer be in breach of the national minimum wage legislation if it does not fund the difference between the payment under the CJRS and the worker’s normal pay?
  • Update (16 April 2020)

UPDATE: This Q&A was first published before the HMRC published its guidance for employers: Claim for your employees’ wages through the coronavirus job retention scheme and guidance for employees: Check if your employer can use the coronavirus job retention scheme on 26 March 2020. These two sets of guidance were updated on 4 April, 9 April and 15 April 2020. The government also published a Treasury Direction on 15 April.

For information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), see Practice Note: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (original version to 30 June 2020). For information on the updates to the HMRC guidance made on 4 April, 9 April and 15 April 2020, and the Treasury Direction, see the following News Analyses:

  1. HMRC publishes updated employer and employee guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) job retention scheme

  2. HMRC publishes second update to employer and employee guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme, and

  3. Treasury gives legal effect to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and updates guidance a third time

For information on the position as at 16 April 2020, see: below.

Key details of the proposed coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) announced so far include:

  1. the scheme will start in April 2020 and be backdated to 1 March 2020, to enable organisations to re-employ individuals who have already been laid off and for those workers to recoup lost income

  2. the business will

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