HMRC has updated the Furlough guidance over the weekend with specific reference to company directors:

  • As office holders, salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme;
  • Company directors owe duties to their company which are set out in the Companies Act 2006. Where a company (acting through its board of directors) considers that it is in compliance with the statutory duties of one or more of its individual salaried directors, the board can decide that such directors should be furloughed;
  • Where one or more individual directors’ furlough is so decided by the board, this should be formally adopted as a decision of the company, noted in the company records and communicated in writing to the director(s) concerned;
  • Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company;
  • This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC).

BM Advisory Partner, Andy Pear, comments:
This is welcome guidance from HMRC for company directors although it does little to help those directors who are largely remunerated by dividends since only salary paid under PAYE is covered by the furlough scheme.

A summary of the key Government measures to assist UK businesses and further commentary is provided here.