MPs are urging the Government to publish the full list of employers who have claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) amid concerns of fraud.
It comes after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found that “opportunistic fraud” could account for up to 34 per cent of furlough claims.
The support scheme, which was extended last week until at least the end of April 2021, covers the cost of 80 per cent of employees’ wages for hours not worked.
The latest statistics suggest that the scheme has been used by over nine million workers, costing the Treasury approximately £46 billion.
However, more than 20,000 reports of fraud have been lodged with the Government’s fraud department since the CJRS was launched in March, which has so far resulted in two arrests in connection to wrongful claims amounting to £70,000.
A separate study also revealed that “up to two-thirds” of workers placed on furlough continued to work for their employer, despite regulations prohibiting this.
Commenting on the statistics, the PAC said it wants the Government to publish a full list of employers who claimed under the scheme by January 2021.
Meg Hillier, Chair of the PAC, said: “With billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money going into private companies to support jobs, the least we expect in return is transparency.
“That is doubly so when speed has been prioritised over effectively targeting support, or checks on the value it offers.
“With the Treasury claiming it can’t give even a ballpark figure for the cost of Covid job support until the end of next year, public scrutiny of where taxpayers’ money is going is essential.”
For help and advice on matters relating to employment law, contact Joanna Alexiou at Mackrell.Solicitors today.
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