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CoronaVirus Job retention Scheme Update

15-Jun-2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

Also known as the Furlough Scheme

 

01 July 2020 to 31 October 2020

Please be aware that this note is based on the information published as at 09 June 2020 and is intended to provide guidance on how Foremans LLP believe the scheme has been implemented. The below is based on Foremans LLP’s interpretation of the available information. You should not regard this as advice on how the scheme will operate as several factors have still to be announced.

We have compiled some frequently asked questions which may help to explain our understanding of the scheme:

Employers Guidance:

 

What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

The UK Government has set up the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help employers who cannot maintain their current workforce due to the business operations being severely affected by coronavirus. The idea is to temporarily suspend the employment so that employees can be retained until after the pandemic is over. The employment, therefore, does not have to be terminated now.

What period does the CJRS cover?

The scheme has been extended and covers the period 01 March 2020 to 31 October 2020.The rules for the scheme will change on 01 July 2020.

 

01 July 2020 to 31 October 2020

Who Can Claim?

Any entity with a UK payroll can apply.

The employer must have:

  • Created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • Enrolled for PAYE online
  • A UK bank account
  • Individual employees must be furloughed by 10 June 2020 for a claim to be made.
  • Employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June 2020.
  • The CJRS will close to new entrants from 30 June 2020
  • Employers will have until 31 July 2020 to make claims in respect of the period to 30 June 2020

Who can the Employer claim for?

  • Furloughed employees who were on the PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. The employer cannot claim for employees hired after 19 March 2020.
  • Employees can be on any type of employment contract:
    • Full time
    • Part time
    • Agency
    • Flexible
    • Zero hour
    • Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed.

Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12 June 2020

What does furlough mean?

A furlough is a temporary period of leave due to the special needs of an employer.

Can an employee work whilst they are designated as furloughed?

No for the period 01 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. To be eligible for the grant an employee cannot undertake any work for the organisation. If an employee is working reduced hours or for reduced pay they will not be eligible.

Yes for the period 01 July 2020 to 31 October 2021. From 01 July 2020 employers can bring back to work employees that have been previously furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern. The employer can still claim the CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the grant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of one week.

What if the employees have already been made redundant or stopped working for the employer?

If employees were made redundant, or stopped working for the employer, on or after 28 February 2020 the employer can re-employ them and declare them furloughed. The employer can then claim the grant for these employees. This applies as long as an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of the employee was made to HMRC on or before 19 March 2020. 

Can the employer claim if the employee is self isolating or on sick leave?

Yes. An employee can be furloughed for business reasons even if they are absent from work due to sickness.  The employer can decide whether to pay employees Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or place them on furlough. If an employee becomes sick whilst on furlough it is up to the employer whether to move the employee over to SSP or keep them on furlough. The employee should be paid at least SSP.  An employer cannot, however, claim for furloughed wages of employees for the period as they are receiving Statutory Sick Pay.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not intended to cover short term sickness /absence from work. If an employee is absent from work due to sickness their normal entitlement to SSP will apply. If sickness is as a result of Coronavirus, or the employee is self-isolating, the employee should be able to receive SSP from the first day of sickness, subject to other eligibility conditions.

Can the employer claim if the employee is shielding?

Yes. If the employee is unable to work from home. Employers can claim for furloughed employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance or need to stay home with someone who is shielding.

What happens if the employee has more than one job?

If an employee has more than one employer then each job is treated as separate. The employee can be furloughed from each job with the cap on furloughed pay being applied to each employer.

Employees can be furloughed in one job and receive payment whilst continuing to work for another employer and being paid wages as normal.

What happens to employees on a fixed term contract?

Employees on fixed term contracts can be furloughed. Contracts can be renewed or extended. Where a fixed term contract ends the employer can no longer claim the grant.

Does anyone apart from employees qualify for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

The grant can be claimed for the following provided they are paid through a PAYE scheme:

  • Office Holders including Company Directors;
  • Salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP’s)
  • Agency Workers (including those employed by Umbrella Companies).

What do I need to do if I am a company Director?

The board of Directors can decide whether a director is eligible to be furloughed. The decision should be noted in the company records and communicated in writing to the director(s).

Can a company director work whilst furloughed?

If the company director needs to comply with certain statutory obligations for the company they are permitted to do so. The company director should not do any work that would normally generate commercial revenue or provide services on behalf of the company.

Can an Agency Worker work whilst furloughed?

No. Agency Workers should perform no work through or on behalf of the agency whilst they are furloughed by the agency.

Who pays an Agency Worker who works through an Umbrella company?

Where an agency supplies clients with workers who are employed by an umbrella company that operates PAYE, it will be for the Umbrella company and the worker to agree whether to furlough the worker or not.

How does the employer agree to furlough the worker?

Employers should discuss furlough with their staff and make temporary changes to the employment contract by agreement.

The employer must confirm in writing to their employee that they have been furloughed. A record of this communication must be kept for 5 years.

Does the employer have to furlough the whole workforce?

No. The whole workforce does not need to be furloughed.

 

What can the employer claim?

The PAYE business can claim a grant for the period 01 July 2020 to 31 October 2020 of the following dependent on the month:

Month

July

2020

August

2020

September 2020

October 2020

Percentage of Salary

80%

80%

70%

60%

Maximum

£2,500.00

£2,500.00

£2,187.50

£1,875.00

From 01 August 2020 the scheme will no longer cover the cost of the employer’s National Insurance and pension contributions on furloughed salary. This cost must be paid by the employer.

Does the employer need to top up the reduction?

The employer can top up the salary to 100% but does not have to whilst the employee is furloughed. The employee’s salary must not, however, fall below the applicable National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage rates for hours worked during periods when the employee is back at work. 

From 01 September 2020 the employer must also make up the difference between the percentage of salary claimed and the furlough salary at 80%.

 

How does the employer calculate the salary if the salary varies?

If the employee has been employed for 12 months or more the employer claims the higher of:

  • Relevant month percentage of the same month’s earnings the previous year (up to  monthly maximum) or
  • Relevant month percentage of the average monthly earnings for the 2019/2020 tax year (up to monthly maximum).

If the employee has been employed for less than 12 months the employer claims the relevant monthly percentage of their average monthly earnings since they started work.

Is the furlough salary subject to PAYE and NI?

Yes. The payment to the employee is treated as salary under the normal PAYE and NI rules in force at the time of the payment including employers NI.

Can the employer claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for any employers NI?

Employer NI contributions for the furlough element of the payment can be claimed until 31 July 2020. From 01 August 2020 employers must cover this cost.

Can the employer claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for any pension contributions?

Pension contributions up to the mandatory employer contribution can be claimed until 31 July 2020. From 01 August 2020 employers must cover this cost.

What will the employer need to make the claim?

  • Business PAYE scheme reference number
  • Registered for PAYE online
  • Number of employees being furloughed
  • Each employees National Insurance Number
  • Claim period (start and end date)
  • Amount claimed including:

ü  Employee wages

ü  Employer National Insurance Contributions

ü  Employer minimum pension contributions

  • Business bank account number and sort code – only if BACS payments can be accepted
  • The billing address on your bank account
  • Contact name
  • Phone number
  • Your name or the employers name if you are an agent
  • Your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference– if you the business is an incorporated limited company
  • Your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference – if you are self employed or a partnership

Can I claim now?

Yes. The online service to be used for claims is available.

You will need:

  • Government Gateway User ID
  • Password from when you registered for PAYE online

Further useful information can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Do I have to complete the claim in one session?

No. You can save a draft but must complete your claim within 7 days of starting it.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues noted above, please contact us on:

01244 625 500 or 01978 364 000

contactus@foremansllp.com

Whilst all due care and attention has been taken in the preparation of these notes no liability can be accepted for any omission or item contained therein.

Foremans LLP

12 June 2020


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