TUPE or the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations is a well known rule that means that the rights and responsibilities of a predecessor employer transfer to a successor employer. Normally this means that employment rights for employees are transferred – but in a Covid world with government support it also means that Furlough can be transferred.
... but how does this work in practice?
Normally when claiming furlough your claim is entered onto HMRC’s website. But if you have a new PAYE scheme, because you are a new employer, then this menu choice is not be available! If it is, then the functionality may be limited or HMRC’s error check routines may prevent you from claiming. So, it is likely that HMRC’s system will not allow you to complete an online claim!
So how do you get around this and make it work! Well HMRC have a TUPE team who will help make this less frustrating! If you are in this situation, the first task is to ring them and initiate contact. Note it can take a couple of weeks to get a call back from HMRC. HMRC will then give you a way to actually make a claim. Please contact the HMRC helpline on 08000241222 (and yes you might need to Google the number if HMRC update this) and they will refer to it to their TUPE technical team to call you back and process the claim
Also, some payroll systems have a TUPE box that needs to be ticked when setting up new employees. Was it ticked? This helps as it means HMRC are aware of the TUPE when they get the RTI returns from the new employer.
What are the rules?
An employer can claim if:
- The individual was employed by the transferor (former employer) and included on a RTI return before the cut off dates for furlough eligibility. The eligibility cut off dates were 19 March 2020 or 30 October 2020 or 2March 2021.
- There was a TUPE transfer of the employee to the transferee (new employer) and the employee remained in employment.
- Immediately before the transfer, the former employer had a qualifying PAYE scheme, made a payment to the employee and notified this in a return to HMRC before the relevant eligibility cut off date or, if earlier, the last day of the employee’s employment with the former employer before the TUPE transfer.
Need help? We can sort your payroll and your furlough- so get in touch!