Monthly Archives: July 2020

Contractual Notice and Furlough (17 July 2020)

HMRC has updated one of the Guides “Check which employees you can put on furlough…’ to confirm that you can use furlough grant to pay for contractual notice periods as well as the statutory notice periods.

GUIDE ‘Check which employees’ now states:

Where you must make redundancies, you should do so in accordance with the normal rules. This includes giving a notice period and consulting staff before a final decision is reached. You can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory or contractual notice period, however grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.”

This clarification is very welcome and removes any ambiguity arising from last week’s update to the Guides that only referred to statutory notice periods.

The Guide can be accessed HERE


Northern Ireland Quarantine Rules Lifted for Exempt Countries

Northern Ireland has changed its rules relating to quarantine. From 10 July 2020 you may not have to self-isolate when you arrive in Northern Ireland, if you are returning from certain countries.

That is because these countries or territories are:

  • Exempted countries
  • British overseas territories

It is important to note that the list is continually under review and self-isolation requirements could be reintroduced at any time for public health reasons.

A list of exempted countries and territories is available HERE

This easing of the restriction will be welcome by businesses who need employees to travel for work as well as resolving some of the issues of what to do when employees travel abroad on holidays if the country is on the exempted list.

However, you will need to self-isolate if you were in, or if you transited through, a country that is not on the list in the 14 days before your return to the Common Travel Area.

This applies to all travel to Northern Ireland, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route. It also applies regardless of how you have arrived in Northern Ireland – directly, via Ireland, or via another UK region.

In addition to country exemptions, individual exemptions will also apply.

It is, however, important to note that the exemptions do not apply if you have symptoms of coronavirus. Anyone who has symptoms of a cough, fever or loss of smell or taste must self-isolate.

List of Exempt Countries

List of Individual Exemptions

CONFIRMATION: Furlough monies can be used to pay notice pay

At the beginning of the week, we wrote to Members regarding new, additional words that had been inserted into Paragraph 2.2 of the Third Treasury Direction. This paragraph stated:

“Integral to the purpose of CJRS is that the amounts paid to an employer pursuant to a CJRS claim on a claim are used by the employer to continue the employment of employees in respect of whom the CJRS claim is made…”.

These new words raised the question whether the furlough monies could be used to pay employees’ notice pays.

It has now been widely reported that HMRC has confirmed that employers can use the furlough grants for employees during their notice period.

This is very welcome news to employers as we are aware that many employers were using the grant monies in this way.

Deletion of claim within 72 hours

 One further small change is that the Guide “Claim for wages ..” has been updated and to tell employers they can use the online service to delete a claim within 72 hours of submitting it.