The Treasury has now published a formal detailed Direction to HMRC setting out how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme should operate. Full details can be viewed here

There is one aspect of the Treasury Direction which is of particular note.

The Direction provides that in order for an employee to be properly furloughed, there must be a written agreement between the parties confirming furlough leave, although this may be in an electronic form such as an email

This is significant as it appears to be inconsistent with the official guidance published by the Government which states that in order to be eligible for the grant employers must simply “confirm in writing to their employee that they have been furloughed.”

It is not clear from the Treasury Direction whether, if you subsequently obtain written agreement, a claim can be backdated to cover the period when you thought employees were furloughed but in fact may not have been.

If you would like advice on any of the issues raised above or assistance with drafting a furlough agreement, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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