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JSS and written agreements

The timing of written agreements and effect on claims

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I have noticed that in the government's Policy Paper, which I believe is all the detail we have so far, it states under section 5.1:

"Claims should commence from the LATER OF the date that the employee starts working reduced hours or the date when working reduced hours is confirmed in writing, not when the decision is made."

In section 2.3 they go on about the JSSO agreements and how they should be put in place, what they should include etc. Although they do say further guidance on the content is to be published by the end of October!

So if I am reading this correctly (always questionable) for a client to claim under JSSO from 1 November they have to have consulted employees and put these temporary reduced hours written agreements in place by the end of October. If the agreements are put in place on say 3rd November, then the claim can only run from that date even if the employee started working reduced hours on the 2nd. (I know we seem to be working on calendar days again which is a bit of a wrinkle).

Bit harsh given the policy paper was only published last Thursday to expect employers to have this all thoroughly consulted and documented by the end of this week!

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By the_drookit_dug
26th Oct 2020 17:15

Madness.

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By Barbara G
26th Oct 2020 18:24

Yes, I took it to mean that too, that claims can only be made from the time the agreement is in place. A bit harsh. Some of my clients have contracts with employment law experts whom they have been contacting to ask if they can draft them up letters, which I think they can. If any of your clients use employment law firms for their contracts of employment etc, they should probably be able to draw something up too.

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By Paul Crowley
26th Oct 2020 18:35

What does confirmed in writing mean?
For me back in March /April I considered emails to home and work confirmed that something happened.
I also quite often use emails to confirm dividend decisions.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
boxfile
By spilly
26th Oct 2020 20:05

According to my City lawyer son, emails can form a legally binding contract depending on what is set out in them. There should be the usual terms of intention, offer, acceptance, and consideration at the very least.
However, if there was a disclaimer attached that the email correspondence is not to be considered as forming part of a contract, then they would be ignored for legal reasons no matter what the content.
So you should be safe if your emails can be considered to be an electronic form of correspondence.

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By the_drookit_dug
26th Oct 2020 20:17

If you look closely at the treasury direction for CJRS 2, that also required flexi-furlough agreements to be in place prior to the first claim period. This wasn't noted in the HMRC guidance though.

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