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Can an employee on family related leave be furloughed?

Yes, but your claim will be limited to any enhanced contractual payments you make to employees who qualify for the relevant family related pay.

All maternity and parental rights remain in force for anyone in this category who is furloughed. However you may need to calculate average weekly pay differently if the employee was furloughed and then started family related leave on or after 25 April 2020.

Furlough pay cannot be claimed for the period that an employee is receiving Maternity Allowance. An employee can agree to accept furlough pay but they must contact Jobcentre Plus to stop their Maternity Allowance payments for this period.

Related FAQs

How much will I get under the scheme?

If you are eligible you will get a taxable grant of 80% of the average profits from the following tax years (where applicable):

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

HMRC will add the total profit in each of the three tax years (if applicable). This will then determine the monthly payment, subject to the cap of £2500.

Should I stop paying my commercial rent?

Commercial leases generally prevent a tenant from withholding payments of rent. If a tenant stops paying rent there will be a breach of the tenant’s covenant to pay rent which, strictly speaking, will entitle the landlord to forfeit the lease and/or seek to recover the arrears in the courts. 

However, on 23 March 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that all commercial tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland missing rent payments are to benefit from a government ban on forfeiture of their lease. This change, which will prevent landlords from terminating leases and evicting commercial tenants, is included in the Coronavirus Bill. It will come into force very shortly (once the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent, which is expected to be in a matter of days) and will last until 30 June 2020, with an option for the government to extend this deadline.

It is anticipated that many commercial tenants will take advantage of the reprieve and withhold their rent. Importantly note the rules will apply not only to principal rent but to “any sum a tenant is required to pay”, leaving the burden of supplying services and insuring the premises on landlords.

It is also important to note however that the protection offered by the government is from the threat of forfeiture should tenants withhold rental payments. The liability to pay the rent however remains an interest on unpaid rents will accrue. Furthermore, remedies other than forfeiture may be pursued by the landlord e.g. service of a statutory demand before insolvency or ordinary litigation proceedings for arrears etc.. Tenants then ideally should look to reschedule or suspend rental payment through discussions with their landlord.       

The advantage of this being you might be able to negotiate a sensible and manageable repayment program in respect of the suspended rent, free of the threat of litigation.

Do I need to give a personal guarantee to access finance under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?

A number of our clients and networks raised issues in the early stages of the Scheme around the requirement for personal guarantees to access finance under the Scheme. The Scheme has now been updated so that:

  • For facilities under £250,000, personal guarantees cannot be taken to support lending under the Scheme.
  • For facilities above £250,000, personal guarantees may still be required by a lender but the amount which can be recovered under these guarantees is capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after taking into account any other recoveries from business assets.
I’m a landlord. How do I comply with Regulation 36 of the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 during the coronavirus outbreak?

Under their obligations arising from Regulation 36 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords must service domestic gas appliances on an annual basis and provide tenants with a record of the service within 28 days of that service. Failure to comply can result in prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or downgrading by the Regulator.

We know how important this is. But how can you comply with your obligations during the Covid-19 epidemic?

The latest restrictions on leaving the home, currently allow registered gas engineers to undertake essential work, whilst taking the appropriate precautions advised to avoid spreading or contracting the virus in a new setting.

Will I need to make an application to the court for a remote hearing?

Despite remote hearings being the default position at present, formal permission will still be required by the court and a template order was circulated with the guidance. This template sets out the relevant directions and recitals to include in your order. An application to the COP for a remote hearing will not be required.