Jim Harra, HMRC Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary has given authority for his letter to be published clarifying the Furlough Scheme requirements.
It deals with the discrepancy between the latest Guidance and the Treasury Direction (which would normally take precedence over any Guidance).
The Treasury Direction requires employees to agree to cease all work in writing, while the HMRC Guidance, states that written agreement from the employee is not necessary. HMRC has now stated that employers should follow the Guidance, with the letter stating: "...the employer and the employee must reach an agreement and an auditable written record of this agreement must be retained. It does not necessarily follow that the employee will have provided written confirmation that such an agreement was reached in all cases." This is a helpful and clear statement from HMRC that they will not deny an employer the ability to reclaim funds simply on the basis the employer had not obtained written agreement from the employee to cease all work for the employer.
Thanks to Daniel Barnett QC for writing to HMRC and obtaining this clarification.