Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme news: false furlough grant claims
The trade union, Unite union, is pursuing a claim for unfair dismissal, unlawful deduction of wages and breach of contract after a worker was told that he was expected to continue to work while furloughed.
The employer Falconex strongly denies all the allegations.
The trade union alleged that its member was told in May that he was at “the top of the list of any redundancy” and that Falconex “attempted to intimidate workers from contacting their trade union” by stating:
“Using a third party, such as a union or a solicitor to enter a dialogue is seen as a direct threat to the business, and simply put, if you’re not working for Falconex, then you’re working against it.” The employer is stating that they have never ever forced the individual referred to in the case to come to work.
They further commented:
“The scheme – implemented very quickly by the government, with little details, grey areas, badly advertised adjustments along the way – has put many small and medium size employers on the back-foot. As with any set of rules, it has many legal ramifications that few small businesses are always able to absorb expertly and put in place right first time”.
It’s been announced by Jim Harra (the Permanent Secretary) that HMRC was looking into 27,000 “high risk” cases where it believes an employer claimed fraudulently or erroneously in the amount it is claiming under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
HMRC estimated as much as £3.6bn has been falsely claimed.