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Portal’s Eve


On the eve of the Scheme going live, David Reade KC and Daniel Northall examine the uncertainties that persist.

There is a principle in quantum physics called Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle which, to paraphrase badly, suggests this: to look is not to see, because the act of observation causes the subject to move its position[1].

Which brings us on to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in its latest guise. It was only Thursday morning that we put the full stop to our analysis of the Treasury Direction, confident that we knew what it said, even if we did not always know what it meant. But a day is a long time in the world of furlough and it turns out the Direction does not mean what it says anyway, at least in certain respects.

Friday evening saw the publication of a raft of additional guidance in anticipation of the application portal going live on Monday 20 April, including revisions to the guides for employers and employees, a new guide for calculating recoverable wage costs under the Scheme and a ‘step by step’ guide for employers making a claim. However, no amendments were made to the Direction itself, which remains in its original form.

[1]             No cats were harmed in the preparation of this article

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