We have recently received an influx of inquiries from employees reporting that their employer is fraudulently claiming money under the Government Job Retention Scheme by making them work whilst furloughed.
From 1st July 2020, the new system of flexible furlough will be introduced under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, allowing furloughed employees to return to work on a part-time basis.
However, under the current layout of the scheme, an employee cannot do work for an employer seeking the reimbursement during furlough, and it cannot ask them to do work for another linked or associated business. Furthermore, an employee can carry out volunteer work, assuming that the volunteering in question is not for the employee's employer and being used to circumvent furlough but receive reimbursement of wages.
An employer who is making an employee work whilst they are furloughed, is likely to be committing fraud and employers should be aware of the following:
HMRC encourages employees who are concerned that their employer is abusing the scheme by claiming on their behalf and then not paying what they are entitled to report the employer. The report can be made through HMRC's Report fraud to HMRC service.
We also thought we should share with you an interesting article published by the BBC on the topic - Coronavirus: 'My employer broke the furlough rules'
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Partners Employment Lawyers is not a firm of solicitors. Members or Partners Employment Lawyers are consultants at Excello Law Limited and legal services are provided by Excello Law Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA number 512898 https://excellolaw.co.uk/