Broadcast on 18 June; Listen on BBC (from the 21 minute mark)
BBC Radio 5 Live Drive highlighted the difficult position some UK employees are facing with employers benefiting from the government furlough scheme while knowingly breaking the rule that furloughed employees must cease all work. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) told the BBC that around 3,000 cases had already been reported to their furlough fraud hotline to date. Because of the speed at which the scheme needed to be implemented, no checks were established to verify how the company uses the money it receives from the government and whether employees had indeed stopped work. HMRC is encouraging employees to report companies who have continued to ask furloughed employees to work.
BBC Radio 5 invited FRA Founding Partner Toby Duthie to comment on such employers who might think that they can get away with this abuse of the system. Toby said that it would be naïve to underestimate the global political appetite and public support for taking a hard line against such fraud. Furthermore, HMRC has historically been one of the most aggressive and successful white collar crime prosecution agencies in the UK.