Following the publication last week of HMRC’s guidance on the extended furlough scheme which stated that the government was reviewing its stance on furlough being claimed during notice periods, this section of the guidance has now been updated.

Citation has outlined the key points from this update:

  • With effect from 1 December, employers will not be able to claim furlough pay for any period where the employee was serving either a contractual or statutory notice period.
  • Although the new guidance appears in the ‘If you’ve made your employees redundant’ section – the rule seems to apply regardless of how the notice has come about as it specifically includes resignations and retirements.
  • If an employer has claimed in advance and the employee subsequently starts a notice period on a day covered by the claim, the employer will have to adjust their claim.
  • It will be irrelevant whether notice of termination was given before 1 December. The critical issue is whether the employee is serving notice, not when that notice was served.

For example, if an employer gives an employee 4 weeks-notice starting on 23 November and ending on 18 December, furlough pay can be claimed for the notice days falling within November but no furlough claim can be made from 1 December for the days when the employee was serving the remainder of their notice period.