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21 Apr 2020

Some clarity on holiday pay and Statutory Sick Pay and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) goes live


Please see the latest clarifications and updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme below.

Holiday pay

Employers should pay normal holiday pay in accordance with the Working Time Regulations 1998, for annual leave taken during furlough.  Employers will be able to claim under the CJRS for annual leave days taken during furlough, but employers will be required to top up the furloughed salary to 100%, if paying furloughed employees at a reduced rate.  

Please note, the CJRS guidance states that the Government is keeping the policy on holiday pay, during furlough, under review.  

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

HMRC has updated its statutory payments manual to confirm that furloughed employees do not qualify for SSP.  An employer will not be permitted to claim under the SSP rebate scheme for furloughed employees who are sick and paid SSP.

This is at odds with the CJRS guidance, which states that it is up to employer to decide whether to move sick furloughed employees onto SSP or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate. This suggests that an employer could move a sick furloughed employee onto SSP, but would be required to fund the SSP itself (without recovery under the SSP rebate scheme).  

An employer therefore, may be financially better off electing to leave a sick furloughed employee on furlough (rather than move to SSP) and recover the sums available under the CJRS.  Furloughed employees may also stay silent when they are sick to avoid being paid the lower SSP rate.


The CJRS opened to accept applications on 20 April 2020.  Step by step guidance on making a claim through the CJRS can be found here.

Please do get in touch with Paul Reeves or Natalie Edwards or your usual Stephenson Harwood contact if you require advice on the issues arising out of this e-alert.


Paul Reeves

Paul Reeves
Head of employment

T:  +44 20 7809 2916 M:  +44 7919 694 135 Email Paul | Vcard Office:  London