Coronavirus: Employers to be given 30 days to admit to furlough fraud
Legislation is accelerated by parliament to introduce employer penalties for holiday fraud.
According to The Telegraph, the government plans to give companies 30 days to admit that they intentionally violate vacation rules.
More than 1,900 claims were made to the holiday fraud hotline, and the whistleblower charity Protect also saw an increase in calls.
Workers called to report on their employers because they cheated on the vacation system. Abuses included the use of employees without their knowledge or the expectation that employees who were on leave would continue to work.
The HMRC has now warned employers that they may be fined for violating vacation rules when the laws are passed.
The new law is expected to take effect next month to help companies make false or fraudulent claims.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has given almost nine million workers leave since March, costing taxpayers £ 19.6 billion ($ 24.6 billion). A further £ 7.5 billion was paid to 2.6 million self-employed applicants.
The program was designed to prevent companies from firing staff due to the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
READ MORE: Coronavirus: The UK economy is slowly recovering, says the head of the Bank of England
The government stepped in to continue paying 80% of staff wages to protect jobs.
However, there have been growing concerns that some employers have exploited the system and the government is now ready to take action against them.
"It is clear that the HMRC is now preparing to tackle false and fraudulent claims for Covid 19 support payments. We can expect a serious investigation for those who suspect the HMRC is fraudulent," said Dawn Register of the tax authority DBO opposite The Telegraph.
Legislation is expected to give employers a 30-day period to "confess" to the HMRC and to provide information about vacation mistakes.
After this grace period, the HMRC will pursue companies that exercise criminal and civil law powers.
The new rules apply to employers on leave and self-employed persons who have applied for funding under the self-employment income support system.
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