21 April 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Update

Since my last blog on this subject (here) the Government have tried to remedy some of the difficulties I described within it.  I highlight what I think are the most important recent changes below.

The Government confirmed on 17th April that the Scheme would run to the end of June 2020.   Several updates have been made to the main Scheme most recently updated on 20th April 2020, which is at:

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

Employers

The list of those eligible is largely unchanged but those undergoing company mergers of their payroll records or TUPE transfers to manage are now provided for in the guidance.

Employers Claims and date for Payment

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Portal (CJRSP) was opened by HMRC on 20th April 2020 and the Treasury has published a set of Rules.     

Many claims have already been made. HMRC believe they can now make the first payments to business by the end of April 2020 and not much later as we had anticipated in our earlier blog

The government has produced a guide to how to work out 80% of employees’ wages.  This is at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

A step-by-step guide for Employers who wish to claim is at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide-for-employers

Eligible Employees

The cut off date for employees  starting with an employer has  changed from 28th February 2020 as stated in our blog on 10th April 2020. It is now 19th March 2020.

This is closer to the “From when” date we identified of 13th -23rd March 2020 which is the date that the majority of employees were probably furloughed. However, any cut off date is arbitrary in an active employment market and many people changing jobs may still miss out if their new employer did not upload their payroll details with HMRC by 19th March 2020. 

Change of Circumstances and Implications

As stated in our earlier blog, employer payroll is dynamic. The Government have in their latest changes recognized this and confirmed that staff who go sick after furlough need not be put on to SSP.

Furthermore staff that could have been dealt with under SSP for shielding purposes can now  be furloughed instead.

Employers still need to move those on Statutory Leave onto furlough when the Statutory Leave ends.

Holidays

Our earlier advice on holidays is now confirmed by the Government guidance on this. Employers can require employees to take pre-booked holiday but have to pay the contractual holiday pay rate of their staff, not any lower rate that applies whilst they not working due to furlough.

Employees

The Guide for Employees on Furlough is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

 Calculating holiday pay is discussed in this document.

 
 


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Christopher Atkinson
Christopher Atkinson
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