HR Update Covid19 - Confirming furlough status with your employees
HMRC's guidance, originally published on 26 March 2020, was updated on 4 April 2020 and provides further information to employers implementing the Job Retention Scheme for furlough workers. The guidance now covers many specific employment situations and employers may find this updated version now answers some previously unanswered questions. One element of clarity is that HMRC state the following:
To be eligible for the grant employers must confirm in writing to their employee confirming that they have been furloughed. A record of this communication must be kept for five years.
Letter template for employers to confirm furlough status in writing
It is critical therefore that organisations have the appropriate paper trail in place. To assist with this, the LRA (Labour Relations Agency) has produced a useful template letter which employers can use to confirm to employees in writing that they have been furloughed. You can access the LRA's template furlough letter in their Covid-19 Practical Guidance document here.
NICVA recommends that the employer seeks to gain the written agreement of the worker to this change of employment status, for example by return of email confirming acceptance.
Practical steps to take to furlough your workers
If you are still in the process of reviewing the option of furloughing workers in your organisation, NICVA's previous article from 25 March 2020 outlines the key steps to take to furlough employees from eligibility, to communication and can be accessed here: Job Retention Scheme article.
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