1. We understand that HMRC has told a Parliamentary Select Committee that the online portal for furlough reimbursements will be operational from the 20th April with the first payments made on 30 April.

It is likely that your claims will run in line with your pay periods (i.e. weekly, two weekly or monthly) and you should be able to make your claim 14 days ahead of your pay period – so on a monthly pay period of the 28th of the month, you can submit your claim on the 14th.

We expect this to be confirmed next week along with guidance.

2. HMRC are indicating that there will be an “employee hotline” in operation allowing employees to “shop” their employers who are asking them to work whilst furlough.

In addition, as HMRC are requiring employers to keep furlough confirmation records for 5 years, we expect that their auditing may last for this length of time.

Any anomalies could affect your entire furlough pay claims and could result in fraud charges.

3. There remain lots of unanswered questions on holidays during furlough however ACAS has revised its guidance which can be found here Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees. Using holiday.

They confirm that holidays can be taken during furlough and this is supported by a recent tweet from HMRC customer support who say that holidays and bank holidays can still be taken and must be paid at the full contractual rate.

Unfortunately, questions such as whether any holiday taken breaks the three week furlough cycle remain unanswered.

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