On March 2020, the government announced measures to protect employers and employees under the coronavirus job retention scheme. Under this scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support from the Government to continue paying part of their employees’ salaries for those who would have otherwise been laid off during the coronavirus outbreak.
However, initial guidance left many questions unanswered and further guidance was issued on 26 March and then further updates on 4 April 2020 to provide clarification on how the scheme would work and to whom it would apply.
The online service which employer will use to claim is not available yet. HMRC expects this to be available by the end of April 2020.
Who is eligible to claim under the scheme?
Any organisation with a UK payroll scheme on or before 28 February 2020 can apply under this scheme. The organisation can be businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.
You are eligible for this scheme if you cannot maintain your workforce because your business operations are severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Which employees can we furlough?
You can only claim for those furloughed employees under this scheme if they were on your payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020. Employees can be on any type of contract. The main condition is that they must be on the payroll on or before 28 February 2020.
How can an employee be furloughed?
As an employer, you must agree with each employee who is to be furloughed. Employers should discuss this with the employees. To be eligible for the grant employers must confirm in writing to their employee confirming that they have been furloughed. A record of this communication must be kept for five years.
How much you can claim?
You’ll need to claim for:
You can choose to top up your employee’s salary, but you do not have to.
Employees must not work or provide any services for the business while furloughed, even if they receive a top-up salary.
Minimum furlough periods
Any employees you place on furlough must be furloughed for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks. When they return to work, they must be taken off furlough. Employees can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks.
What you will need to make a claim?
To claim, you will need:
You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.