Employment COVID-19 Update: Furlough Fraud and Outdoor Activities

Published on: 16/07/2020


HMRC has confirmed its first arrest in connection with alleged furlough fraud. It has been reported that an individual in the west midlands was arrested as part of a wider investigation into a suspected £495,000 fraud of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, better known as the furlough scheme. HMRC has been vocal on its hard-line approach to any suspected fraudulent claims. “This is taxpayers’ money” said Richard Las, acting director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, “and any claim that proves to be fraudulent limits our ability to support people and deprives public services of essential funding.”

Businesses including beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo studios can reopen safely from today, Monday 13 July. The Government has stated that businesses must be able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines in order to reopen, and only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – i.e those directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients.

Outdoor performances with social distancing can now resume. This means that outdoor theatres, opera, dance and music can start again as long as they take place outside and with a limited and socially distanced audience. New government guidance, which can be found here, outlines how performance venues can get back up and running safely. This includes encouraging venues to move towards e-ticketing for help with track and trace and performances should be scheduled to allow sufficient time to undertake deep cleaning before the next audience arrives.

The government has also confirmed that indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres are expected to be able to open from 25 July.

This is also covered in our podcast which can be found here [Furlough Fraud and Outdoor Activities].


This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking professional and legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.