Furloughed workers are not permitted to work, but does this include posts to social media and digital marketing? In this blog, we share our take for business owners, and limited company directors walking the tightrope of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Can I post to social media during furlough?
A tweet, post, blog update or CRM email could jeopardise Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims for staff and limited company directors, as social content & digital activity is proof that you’ve breached the scheme’s ‘no work’ condition.
We say – “Take real care, because if you claim for 80% of salaries, and you and/or your staff are active online (refreshing the website, sending customer CRM emails and posting social media content) HMRC could very easily prove that work has been undertaken during furlough, scuppering any claim. The approach you take must be hands off”.
We tuned into a recent Treasury webinar in order to gain clarity on the subject and took this key takeaway: “The key condition of the furlough scheme is that the employee is not allowed to work. If you are the owner-manager you can continue to carry out (limited) statutory duties on furlough.”
Stretch work beyond statutory duties and you won’t be able to claim.
To help, we’re stepping in for clients navigating this situation – acting as a content partner, curating and managing creation across various platforms.
What is furlough?
Furloughed employees are on an unpaid leave of absence. Technically the worker is still employed, but they won’t work or get paid.
The Chancellor’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been put in place to ensure people do not lose their jobs while the COVID-19 crisis wreaks havoc on the economy. The scheme applies to PAYE employees and to limited company directors who owner-manage an incorporated business.
To qualify to receive the money, employees (including company directors) must not work once classified as furloughed.
It is our understanding that company directors may only carry out (very limited) statutory duties. This does not include customer relationship management, marketing, social media etc. even if this is in an attempt to keep the business afloat. Do this and you won’t be able to claim.
Ministers have clarified that furloughed employees can act as volunteers but only if it does not generate revenue for the organisation. Read more in this recent Personnel Today blog
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