Notice periods no longer covered by furlough

HM Treasury has confirmed that statutory and contractual notice periods will not be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1 December and that details of future claims will be published online.

Updated guidance says that employers can still make staff redundant while they are on furlough and that employers can continue to claim while employees are serving a statutory or contractual notice period, but that grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.

However, for claim periods starting on or after 1 December, employers cannot claim for any days between 1 December and 31 January 2021, during which the furloughed employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period – this includes people serving notice of retirement or resignation.

If an employee subsequently starts a contractual or statutory notice period on a day covered by a previously submitted claim, employers will need to make an adjustment.

“If you make an employee redundant, you should base statutory redundancy and statutory notice pay on their normal wage rather than the reduced furlough wage,” adds the HM Revenue and Customs guidance.

The guidance also outlines that employers making a CJRS claim accept that HMRC will publish information about their claims online, including the employer’s name and an indication of the amount of money claimed. Businesses that can demonstrate that publication would expose their workforce to a “serious risk of violence or intimidation” can be exempted.

On Wednesday, the government published its official guidance for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until 31 March 2021.

It confirmed that from 1 November 2020, employers can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary while they’re in furlough, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

Any employee that was employed and on payroll on 30 October – providing the organisation has made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC since the scheme began in March – is eligible.

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