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Can boss use employee’s furlough££ for business ?

I have been receiving furlough money until August. In August my boss withheld payment.

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Furlough money has been coming in until August. In August, the transfer hasn't arrived on time and I approached the employer via email for clarification, which has been ignored twice. After sending the PA a message on what's app, I received this: "We have massive problems as business and office. I will remind director about this today and will get back to you.". Can they withold and use my furlough money for business expenses whilst I am out of pocket and not informed about anything ? What can I do in this situation ? 

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By Sarah Z
06th Aug 2020 18:06

No, furlough money must be passed on to employees.
Maybe they haven't received it yet.

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By Paul Crowley
06th Aug 2020 19:00

No
The claim process requires a tick in a box to state that ALL will be paid to employee.
BUT the rules changed in July to add flexi furlough, that pretty much means waiting until end of calendar month to make an honest claim based on hours worked. If the claim was for a month on friday 31st, company will not yet have received any money from HMRC as it takes 6 working days (8 calendar days) to arrive.

EDIT
as it was a Friday, 2 weekends included so will be 10 Calendar days, 10th August

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By Paul Crowley
06th Aug 2020 18:17

Your boss has definitely not received any furlough claim for August. It is only the 6th

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By KeyCrescent25
06th Aug 2020 18:41

But the reason they stated was "we are going through a difficult time" , they didn't mention not receiving the money yet, that's what bothers me. I will wait until next week and see how things go from there.

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Replying to KeyCrescent25:
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By Paul Crowley
06th Aug 2020 18:49

That may well mean that they can no longer pay employees and then claim from HMRC, (which is what I do).
I have several clients that cannot pay employees until HMRC pays the employer.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By KeyCrescent25
06th Aug 2020 19:03

Paul Crowley wrote:

That may well mean that they can no longer pay employees and then claim from HMRC, (which is what I do).
I have several clients that cannot pay employees until HMRC pays the employer.

Can you please correct me if I am wrong here:

- Company registers an employee for furlough and HMRC pays company 80% of employee's salary every month (without going into £2500 max detail)

- There is certainty that HMRC pays the company 80% of the employee salary every month, until at least September

- They have received 80% for August but since "times are difficult", possibly spent it elsewhere, thus delaying payment to me

To summarise, I have been receiving furlough on the 1st of the month where possible, or the nearest working day (2nd, 3rd, 4th etc). But the current situation is that they a) haven't informed me of a potential delay due to whatever reason b) payment hasn't arrived on the nearest working day to 1st of August. Coupled with the vague reasoning in their what's app response, I am led to believe that money has been paid to the company and is being withheld. Of course I am affected by panic and anxiety about not being able to pay for my own expenses, but it does seem like they are not being entirely transparent with me.

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Replying to KeyCrescent25:
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By Paul Crowley
06th Aug 2020 19:20

You have got this competely wrong.
A claim must be made for every week or month.
The employer must put in the details for every employee on every claim.
HMRC only pay after claim has been made. HMRC do not throw money at companies like confetti.
The employer must confirm the status of each employee on each claim. from 1st July that means stating whether full furlough or flexi furlough and if flexi then number of hours contracted and number of hours actually worked.
If there is ANY employee flexi furloughed then no claim can go in until worked hours are known

There is no certainty that you claim in your reply
There is no way that you can know the claim status unless you prepare or have seen the the claims made.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By KeyCrescent25
06th Aug 2020 20:50

Thank you, I was looking for this information but not much is available online, I really appreciate your detailed breakdown, it puts me at ease a little bit.

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Psycho
By Wilson Philips
06th Aug 2020 19:25

This is neither an accounts nor a tax issue. It is a matter for you and your employer. Remind them of the requirement to hand over to the employee any CJRS cash received. Ask them if there is any such cash not yet forwarded and if there is get them to commit to when it will be passed on. Then start looking for a new job.

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By SXGuy
07th Aug 2020 07:39

It's Friday the 7th of August today. Unless your employer is Dr Who, I fail to see how you could have receive your August pay yet?

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By paulwakefield1
07th Aug 2020 08:23

From earlier posts, OP has been paid on first of following month and is referring to pay in August rather than for August.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By KeyCrescent25
07th Aug 2020 10:34

I should have been clearer, I wrote this while panicking. To clarify - we are discussing furlough for July that should have been paid in August.

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By Paul Crowley
09th Aug 2020 00:30

I submitted an application on morning of 31st July.
I received money into my bank Friday 7th August, 1 working day earlier than HMRC state. Expected it Monday 10th August. If you are not paid by Tuesday you have a genuine grievance with your employer.

BUT
simply ask when wages will be paid. Do not accuse them of stealing your money.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By KeyCrescent25
11th Aug 2020 10:12

I did that, my 3 emails are still unanswered.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By KeyCrescent25
12th Aug 2020 11:38

Yup, still ignoring.

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By C J EYRE
10th Aug 2020 10:32

Have I missed or done something wrong. I have requested all my clients to dip into their own savings or business money each week to pay their staff wages, and then claimed it back each month.

I consider that this is part of a good owner/employee relationship. Help your staff if you can, and hopefully you will reap the rewards later.

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Replying to C J EYRE:
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By Paul Crowley
10th Aug 2020 10:52

Depends upon business
Leisure and hospitality were no income, overheads continue. Lots of stock poured away or given away.

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Replying to C J EYRE:
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By Rgab1947
10th Aug 2020 11:43

Lovely if they have the savings etc.

Are you in charge of your clients businesses. I only advise.

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By psimonparsons
10th Aug 2020 22:02

It’s a little early. The month has not finished and there may be an intention on flexible furlough and consideration of the employer meeting National Insurance and pension.

If and when a claim is made, and grant money received, then that money must be paid over, eventually. There is no strict timing requirement.

If not, eventually, paid to the employee, then the government will require the money to be returned.

The nature of claims has changed, they now relate to calendar months as the rules now change each and every month.

Thanks (1)
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By KeyCrescent25
11th Aug 2020 10:10

11th August and they still haven’t responded to any of my emails, nor the furlough has been transferred.

This does resemble our office’s “practice” of ignoring people and not paying on time / not paying at all, coupled with complete radio silence and a vague “we are going through struggles”. Not sure what to do here.

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Replying to KeyCrescent25:
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By thestudyman
11th Aug 2020 15:14

KeyCrescent25 wrote:

11th August and they still haven’t responded to any of my emails, nor the furlough has been transferred.

This does resemble our office’s “practice” of ignoring people and not paying on time / not paying at all, coupled with complete radio silence and a vague “we are going through struggles”. Not sure what to do here.

If there is previous experience of not paying on time, you should look to leave - does not sound like a stable business. They are breaking the law by not paying on the agreed date.

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By KeyCrescent25
12th Aug 2020 10:09

12th August update: furlough money did not come in.

After 3 unsuccessful attempts to get any clarification from my employer, I rang ACAS and they advised to send an email demanding the money to be sent to me not later than a certain date, essentially sending them a demand letter.

Does anyone know how furlough is calculated for July? 80% of my regular monthly pay check or is there a more sophisticated formula please ?

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By KeyCrescent25
13th Aug 2020 12:14

UPDATE 13/08

After calling ACAS, I sent a demand letter outlining a) their employer responsibility b) legal obligation for payslips and c) sum owed and cut off time next week

This is my 4th unanswered email. After the cut off period, ACAS advised to give them a call again. I will keep documenting in case anyone else ends up finding themselves in a similar situation.

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Replying to KeyCrescent25:
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By KeyCrescent25
13th Aug 2020 18:02

They transferred after my email of demand on 13/08, the issue is now resolved. Time to find a new employer :) I appreciate everyone’s help with this.

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