Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – 22nd May Update

Coronavirus and furlough are fast becoming the words of 2020. As an employment solicitor over half of my weekly enquiries from business clients relate to furloughing questions.

Since the Job Retention Scheme was announced the Government has sought to provide further details on an ongoing basis. The latest update to this was 22nd May 2020.

Some of the key measures mentioned in the update include:

  1. The requirement for employees to agree to being furloughed being removed and replaced with an allowance for an employer to put in writing a furlough agreement setting out the employee’s terms and conditions which has to be incorporated into their contract and retained until 30th June 2025;
  2. Employers do not need to make payment to employees in advance if claiming reimbursement for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provided they intend to pay the employees within a reasonable time of receipt;
  3. TUPE eligibility has changed from 19th March 2020 to 28th February 2020; and
  4. Further clarity on qualifying costs and statutory payment leave.

A link to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 22nd May 2020 is available here.

Whilst the updated measure provides some clarity in relation to SSP and the amount of wages or salary, the guidance at paragraph 12 indicates that current measures are only provided until 30th June 2020.

However, in the Chancellor’s recent announcement in relation to the Scheme he indicated that this had been extended to 31st October and that it would continue in its current form until end of July. This announcement is clearly at odds with paragraph 12 of the last Scheme update, indicating there will be further updates shortly in order to provide clarity on the expected changes.

It is anticipated that from the end of July the Scheme will see employees able to return on a part-time basis with the Government paying part of their wages and employers expected to contribute a percentage. At this time the percentage is unknown, however further updates will are expected and Bendles are here to support you and your business in the meantime.

Stuart Irving is a Partner, Head in the Corporate and Employment Team.If you would like to speak to someone within our employment or HR team please contact our offices on 01228 522215 or email Please note that both telephone and video appointments can be arranged during this period to facilitate our clients.

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