Commentary

A8.202 Coronavirus job retention scheme—eligible employees

Administration and compliance

A8.202 Coronavirus job retention scheme—eligible employees

A8.202 Coronavirus job retention scheme—eligible employees

Eligibility on first introduction of the scheme

Eligible employees for whom claims can be made will be identified by reference to the RTI submissions made for payments made to employees on or before 19 March 2020. A table illustrates various dates at which the employee was employed, the date the RTI submission was made and then stating whether the employee will be eligible. The HMRC guidance on eligible employees was moved to a new guide on 14 May 2020.

Eligibility until 30 June 2020

Employees can be on any type of contract, and the scheme arrangements extend to:

  1.  

    •     full-time employees

  2.  

    •     part-time employees

  3.  

    •     agency workers and umbrella companies

  4.  

    •     employees on flexible hours or zero-hour contracts

  5.  

    •     apprentices

The guidance expressly states that foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed. Grants under the scheme are not counted as 'access to public funds', and employers can furlough employees on all categories of visa.

Furloughed employees (see below for the meaning of 'furloughed') must not work for the employer during the period of furlough. Therefore, if any elements of employment duties are being performed, the employee will not qualify for the scheme. There is no de minimis, and therefore no work-related activities may be carried out.

The guidance provides that when an employee is on furlough, the employer cannot ask the employee to do any work that:

  1.  

    •     makes money for the employer's organisation, or any organisation linked or associated with the employer's organisation

  2.  

    •     provides services

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