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HMRC announcements several updates on Furlough Scheme

HMRC has made several announcements and clarifications concerning the Furlough Scheme, by updating their main page at and through various other media e.g. Twitter. Some are new and some confirm what was already thought.

The portal is currently being tested and will open for claims of 20 April, with the first claims being paid on 30 April. They say it is expected to be robust but the number claims will clearly be very high.

Employees who have transferred under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE) after 28 February will be eligible to be furloughed. This is something of a surprise because HMRC had previously insisted in all cases that an employee had to be on the claiming employer’s payroll on 28 February. We have no further details of how this will work, in particular how the new employer will know how much to pay employees with variable income because they will usually not have the necessary past pay data (and no entitlement to get it).

HMRC has said informally that holiday taken while on furlough leave must be paid at full pay. The legal basis for this is not entirely clear, and many employment lawyers think that only the first 28 days of holiday in the holiday year (i.e. the Working Time Directive statutory minimum) will be covered in this way.

HMRC has confirmed that the reclaimable National Insurance and pension sums are those on the reduced furlough salary, not the full salary.

It has also said – although it was fairly obvious – that employees cannot do any work for a company linked to the employer, as well as for the employer itself.


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