The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, today announced changes to the Government’s furlough scheme. Most importantly, all previous versions of the Guidance (including guidance released today at 7pm) stated that it was sufficient to notify your staff in writing of the fact that they were being furloughed. The Directive now contradicts that and requires the employees to have agreed to this in writing too. We are hoping the government applies common sense to this and offers some flexibility but if not it is likely that many employers will not be compliant so we would recommend that you take steps to get all employees signed up before you submit your claim via the portal.
This latest development comes in addition to a number of other important changes:
- The scheme has been extended until the end of June;
- Employers can now defer the obligation to pay wages until they have been paid under the scheme;
- The date for eligibility under the Scheme has been brought forward from 28 February to 19 March but it will only apply to employees whose details have been submitted to HMRC using RTI by that date;
- Employees who are eligible for SSP may be furloughed by the employer instead.
As a reminder, the portal goes live on Monday 20th April but if you don’t have signed letters from the staff agreeing to the furlough, there is a risk that you now won’t be eligible to make a claim. If you haven’t already please speak to our HR team about our COVID-19 support package. This is the 4th significant change in 3 weeks and clearly there will be more to come, which is why we don’t charge a ‘project fee’ for our furlough guidance and support, instead, we have designed a discounted support package that will cover everything you need during this period. As always our head of HR Wendy McGarvey and her team will be available for consultations over the weekend and will also be able to provide you with template staff letters to ensure you comply with the latest directive.
Wills & Estate Planning – Free Consultations
Following our email on Wednesday, we have received a large number of requests from clients about reviewing or updating their Wills in light of COVID-19. As a reminder, our Private Client Team offer a complete end-to-end service covering all aspects of estate planning which starts with a well-drafted Will. We are offering all TC clients (and their family members) a free consultation with our Private Client Team to review their affairs. If you would like to take advantage of the consultation please email our Private Client Team on firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us today on 0330 088 7111.