UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Is Employee Agreement Required?

    View Author April 2020

    As you may know, the Treasury produced a Direction on Wednesday confirming the rules for HMRC to follow in its operation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The Direction follows four iterations of government guidance since the Scheme was announced. There is, however, one key difference between the Direction and all prior guidance: the Direction introduces a requirement to have a written agreement in place with employees confirming their agreement to cease any work for the business during the period of furlough. This is a new addition, and disconcerting in both its timing (days only before the CJRS portal goes live) and its nature, as it appears to relate only to the narrow point of ceasing work during the furlough period, and not to the actual fact or financial terms of the furlough.