Whilst HMRC have insisted that they are not trying to catch out employers who have claimed under the scheme, the proposed new law comes at a time when a recent survey found that over a third of employees have been asked to undertake work by their employer whilst on furlough. Under the rules of the furlough scheme, employees should not conduct work for their employer claiming the grant, whilst they are on furlough.
Recognising that many employers made furlough decisions at haste during the start of the pandemic, the Bill, which is being fast tracked to be enshrined in law in early July 2020, proposes a 30 day timeframe for employers who believe that they may have made errors in their application to admit their mistake. It is proposed that penalties will not apply to employers who declare their mistake within this timeframe.
It is advisable for employers to review their furlough activity and ensure that they have complied with the scheme.