COVID19 – Government confirms that businesses can re-employ workers who left after 28 February

The Government has updated its guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, confirming that employers can re-employ staff that were either made redundant or left their organisation after 28 February 2020 and claim their wages from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The update clarified that while staff who were not on the payroll after 28 February are not eligible for furlough pay, individuals who were placed on furlough when they started a new job after this date can ask their former employer to re-employ them.

This would enable the former staff member to receive 80 per cent of their salary at their former organisation, which the employer can claim back from the Government.

Staff may be furloughed on more than one occasions, such as if they are furloughed for three weeks, return to work for several weeks, and then are placed on furlough again for a minimum of three weeks.

It has been confirmed that workers can start a new job for another employer whilst on furlough, but this is only if it is contractually allowed by the organisation that has placed them on furlough.

The update has also given further clarification on commission, with employers able to reclaim 80 per cent of ‘compulsory’ commission back from HMRC, however, this concerns commission earned before the employee was placed on furlough leave.

The Government has released the updated guidance to address some issues that arose from the initial announcement of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, such as who should be using the scheme and whether employees can be rotated on and off furlough.

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Donna Martin

Donna Martin

Partner at Mackrell.Solicitors
Donna Martin is a Partner in the Employment team at Mackrell.Solicitors’ London office. She advises both employers and employees on a full range of contentious and non-contentious issues. As an employment law expert, Donna has significant experience in drafting employment contracts and handbooks, advising on grievance and disciplinary procedures and preparatory work prior to tribunals, including advising on the advantages and disadvantages of settling cases.