Update on Coronavirus job retention scheme

01/04/2020

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.

Who can claim?

  • Any UK organisation with employees can apply, including:
  • You must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 28 February 2020 and have a UK bank account.
  • Where a company is being taken under the management of an administrator, the administrator will be able to access the Job Retention Scheme.

The maximum grant will be calculated per employee and is the lower of:
• 80% of ‘an employee’s regular wage’ and.
• £2,500 per month.
Plus the associated employers’ national insurance contributions (NIC) on this amount and the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.
Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included.

This gives a maximum cap of £2,500 +£245 (employers’ NIC) + £59 (auto- enrolled pension contribution) = £2,804 of total possible grant that can be applied for per employee per month.

Employees you can claim for

Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including:

  • full-time employees, part-time employees, employees on agency contracts and employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

The scheme also covers employees who were made redundant since 28 February 2020, if they are rehired by their employer.

To be eligible for the subsidy, when on furlough, an employee can not undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation. While on furlough, the employee’s wage will be subject to usual income tax and other deductions.

Employees hired after 28 February 2020 cannot be furloughed or claimed for in accordance with this scheme.

If an employee is working, but on reduced hours, or for reduced pay, they will not be eligible for this scheme.

The minimum length of time that an employee can be furloughed is 3 weeks.

Communication with Employees

Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. When employers are making decisions in relation to the process, including deciding who to offer furlough to, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way. To be eligible for the subsidy employers should write to their employee confirming that they have been furloughed and keep a record of this communication.

Work out what you can claim

You will receive a grant from HMRC to cover the lower of 80% of an employee’s regular wage or £2,500 per month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage. Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included.

An employer can also choose to top up an employee’s salary beyond this but is not obliged to under this scheme.

National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage

Individuals are only entitled to the National Living Wage (NLW)/National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the hours they are working. Therefore, furloughed workers, who are not working, must be paid the lower of 80% of their salary, or £2,500 even if, based on their usual working hours, this would be below NLW/NMW.

What you’ll need to make a claim

To claim, you will need:

  • your ePAYE reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • the claim period (start and end date)
  • amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 weeks)
  • your bank account number and sort code
  • your contact name and phone number

You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.

Claim

You can only submit one claim at least every 3 weeks, which is the minimum length an employee can be furloughed for. Claims can be backdated until the 1 March if applicable.

When the government ends the scheme

When the government ends the scheme, you must make a decision, depending on your circumstances, as to whether employees can return to their duties. If not, it may be necessary to consider termination of employment (redundancy).

Tax Treatment of the Coronavirus Job Retention Grant

Payments received by a business under the scheme are made to offset these deductible revenue costs. They must therefore be included as income in the business’s calculation of its taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes, in accordance with normal principles.

If your employee is on Maternity Leave, contractual adoption pay, paternity pay or shared parental pay – please contact us for advice

If your employee is on Statutory Sick Pay

Employees on sick leave or self-isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay, but can be furloughed after this. Employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance can be placed on furlough.

If your employee has more than one job

If your employee has more than one employer they can be furloughed for each job. Each job is separate, and the cap applies to each employer individually.

If your employee does volunteer work or training

A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training.

Prydis

This article was written by Prydis

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