Recruitment firm Sheffield furlough row Brewster Partners withholds evidence ‘proving’ his innocence

Brewster Partners hired law firm Knights after bosses allegedly encouraged furloughed staff to work.

In another video, chief executive Nigel Brewster tells employees not to worry because he has “a smart plan”.

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Nigel Brewster.


Mr Brewster said Knights found no evidence of misuse of the program. But he wouldn’t agree with the findings saying they were “legally privileged.”

He added: “The Knights report said the company’s receipt of CJRS funds appeared to be in accordance with program rules despite comments in managers’ zoom calls.

“However, in order to finally and fully draw a line under this matter, the company has actively sought dialogue with HMRC and, as previously stated, these conversations are ongoing.

“Unfortunately, due to an apparent increase in workload at HMRC, our conversations are taking longer than originally anticipated.”

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The story broke in November after an investigation by The Times newspaper and BBC file on 4.

The Times said HMRC figures showed the company received at least £70,000 furlough between December 2020 and June 2021.

It is estimated that based on the number of people working at the time of the calls in early 2020, this could have claimed up to £500,000.


The Federation of Recruitment and Employment (Federation of Recruitment and Employment) is still investigating five months later.

Brewster Partners is estimated to have grown from 40 employees in November to around 18 today. It is based on Carver Street in the city centre.

Lisa Brewster has reverted to her maiden name of Kirby and started a new job as a ‘contact center manager’ at Venatu Recruitment Group in Doncaster, according to her Linkedin profile.

The furloughs have protected jobs during the pandemic by paying 80% of wages – up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The key to the program was that people should not work while on leave.

An HMRC spokesperson said: ‘Anyone who thinks an employer has abused the CJRS should search ‘Report Fraud HMRC’ on GOV.UK.

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