Job Retention, SSP Relief And Self-Employed Support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.  HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities. 

The Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until 30 June to reflect continuing social distancing measures. 

The online claim service is now open. To receive payment by 30 April, you will need to complete an application by 22 April.

To prepare to make your claim you will need:

  • please read all the available guidance on GOV.UK before you apply
  • gather all the information and the precise calculations you need before you start your application – if you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this
  • you can find out more in the calculation guidance where you can access a claim calculator – this will allow you to check your claim for most employees who are paid the same amount each pay period
  • access a simple step-by-step guide for additional help.
  • a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online.
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can register here.
  • the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for: Name, National Insurance number, claim period and claim amount, PAYE/employee number (optional).
  • if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee. If you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; HMRC will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods

After you’ve made a claim:

  • keep a note or a print-out of your claim reference number – you won’t receive a confirmation SMS or email
  • retain all records and calculations for your claims, in case HMRC need to contact you about them
  • expect to receive the funds six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme

You can find more information on the scheme and eligibility to claim here.

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
  •  your phone number

 Further guidance has now ben issued on how to apply and which staff qualify. 

 Additional notes:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal.
  • To be eligible for the subsidy, when on furlough, an employee cannot undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation.
  • The UK Government will cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions of furloughed workers, on top of 80% of salary.
  • The eligibility cut-off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough scheme) has been extended from 28 February to 19 March. Employers are now able to claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.
  • If you made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 28 February 2020, you can re-employ them, put them on furlough and claim for their wages through the scheme. This applies to employees that were made redundant or stopped working for you after 28 February, even if you do not re-employ them until after 19 March.
  • If you furlough a worker, they can , subject to any provisions in their employment contract, go and get another job during the furlough period. One of the main reasons it was brought in to help with labour shortages in key areas such as harvesting crops and providing care workers but there is no restriction on the type of paid work that can be undertaken. Those furloughed can volunteer for the NHS without risking their pay.

Statutory Sick Pay Relief Package For Smes

Small and medium-sized businesses and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

  • The refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as at 28 February 2020.
  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19.
  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note form NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website.
  • The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force.
  • A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legislation has passed.

Read more

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of measures to support the self-employed who were not covered in previous packages. Detailed guidance on the employment retention scheme will also be published later today.

  • The self-employed will receive a direct cash grant of 80% of their average profits, up to £2,500 per month
  • The scheme is open to anyone with average profits of £50,000 or less.
  • The scheme will operate for three months initially but could be extended
  • The system will take time to establish and grants won’t be available until June – at which time those eligible will receive a payment for the whole three month period. So in effect, this will be a one-off grant to the self-employed
  • HMRC will use the average trading profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine the size of the grant. For those without 3 years of returns, the Treasury will look at what they do have but there will be nothing for the newly self-employed without any filed accounts.

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FAQs