Last updated: 24/03/2020

On Friday 20 March, the government issued details of the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. This scheme will provide government grants which will cover 80% of the salary of PAYE employees who would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. We have limited details about how the scheme will be implemented and we will be on touch with updates as soon as we have them.

It is important to note that the grant is a reimbursement by HMRC to employers, so your business may face cash flow issues. To ease this, the government announced that all VAT payments will be deferred until the end of June 2020. Your business may also be eligible to apply for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

We can confirm that the scheme will be open to any employer in the country, will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020 and will be open before the end of April. It will continue for at least three months and can include workers who were in employment on 28 February.

 

To claim under the scheme employers will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’, and notify employees of this change.

 

Furloughed workers should not undertake any work for the company, including answering calls or emails.

  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal. We are currently waiting for HMRC to set out further details on the information required and are able to give any more details at the moment.
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
  • The employee remains employed and as an employer you can choose to fund the difference between the grant and their usual salary, but this is not compulsory.

 

If we run your payroll, please can you advise us of the following:

  1. The employees that you have designated as ‘Furloughed worker’
  2. The date that they became classified as ‘Furloughed’
  3. Whether you will be funding the difference between the grant and the employee’s usual salary

We may require additional information when HMRC releases details of how the scheme will operate.

UPDATE APRIL 14th 2020:

We have now received confirmation from HMRC that they intend to launch the portal for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 20 April 2020. This portal will allow us, as your PAYE agent, to submit your claim.

If you have previously advised us that you would like to use the Scheme, which enables you to ‘Furlough’ employee’s, then we have been collating the information needed to submit your claim. If we need anything else, we will contact you directly.

 If you have not previously advised us but would like to use the scheme, please reply with the following details:

  1. The employees that you have designated as ‘Furloughed worker’
  2. The date that they became classified as ‘Furloughed’
  3. Whether you will be funding the difference between the grant and the employee’s usual salary

Please be very wary of any calls, texts or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund – and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details – it will be a SCAM.