HMRC has published revised guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for both employers and employees which clarifies the position about the ability to claim the scheme’s grants for wage costs during notice periods.

The wording added to the employer’s guidance states:

“You can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period, however grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments. HMRC will continue to monitor businesses after the scheme has closed.”

After studying the guidance, FIS Associate Member Citation, highlighted two important points:

  • Firstly, the revision deals with notice periods generally and therefore this will apply in any case where notice is being served – not just redundancy.
  • Secondly, the guidance remains unclear on the position where employers are contractually required to give longer notice periods than the statutory minimum (1 week if employed between 1 month and 2 years and after that, 1 week for each full year worked up to a maximum of 12 weeks). Our advice would be that if you want to claim for notice periods beyond the statutory minimum, you should contact HMRC to confirm that this is acceptable.

FIS has created a COVID-19 Employment Toolkit to support companies in managing their workforce.