Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Furlough Fraud

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Thursday 2nd July, 2020

Coronavirus job retention scheme: furlough fraud

In March 2020, the Government released information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, a Scheme to support businesses who would most likely have to make their employees redundant if it wasn't for this scheme.

What is it?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is also known as the furlough scheme refers to a temporary leave of absence from work. The scheme was initially open until 30th May 2020, but the scheme was then extended to 30 June 2020 and then further extended to October 2020.

How can furlough become fraud?

Furlough fraud includes the following:

  • When an employer asks an employee to work for them as a volunteer without paying them
  • Putting an employee on furlough without notifying the employee and the employee then continues to work as normal

There will also be other examples of furloughing staff and these include:

  • Putting staff on furlough and then not paying them what they are owed under CJRS
  • Employers may also pretend to hire staff shortly prior to the qualifying period for furlough which means they are then able to take advantage of the Government support
  • Not paying the full amount received from HMRC to the employee

On the .GOV.UK site, HMRC have made it very clear that they will be checking claims in relation to CJRS and if payments are made under the scheme are found to be fraudulent then the monies paid out will need to be repaid.

HMRC have opened a portal for furlough Fraud you can view it here.

How can CP Law Associates help?

Since the furlough scheme was announced, the team at CP Law Associates have been advising employers on how to ensure that when furloughing employees the right steps are taken in accordance with the rules and guidance. We’ve also noticed a surge in insolvency advice and this is because employers are starting to realise that they will struggle to survive once furlough ends.

If you are concerned that you as a business may have committed furlough fraud, or you are an employee that has been instructed to work whilst on furlough and are looking for advice please get in contact with CP Law Associates today.