Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – what constitutes “work”

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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – what constitutes “work”

The introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has brought about a number of queries as to its implementation and effect. One such question is whether the involvement of an employee within Court proceedings would constitute “work” in the context of the scheme. This question has recently been examined in proceedings in the Nottingham County Court during an application to vacate proceedings.

While this application was ultimately successful, it was held that the fact that a furloughed employee was required to give evidence was not a sufficient basis for vacating a hearing. In summary, it was found that an employee’s attendance at Court and participation as a witness for an employer was not a breach of the scheme.

It is important to note that this County Court decision is not binding on HMRC and as such, it will not be determinative if HMRC were to investigate a potential breach in similar circumstances. It may also be argued that the interviewing of an employee for the purposes of preparing a witness statement could constitute “work” for the purposes of the scheme.

If you would like to discuss any other dispute you or your business might soon face please contact Andrew Broadbent on andrew.broadbent@keebles.com or call Andrew on 0114 252 1416.

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