Put the kettle on – the coronavirus job retention scheme is now open for claims

Good news for those who have furloughed their staff – you can now make the claim for 80% of their wages via the coronavirus job retention scheme. 
Here’s a quick reminder of what ‘furloughing’ means: If staff are still employed but unable to work due to the impact coronavirus has had on your business, you may temporarily lay them off rather than make redundancies. Under the coronavirus job retention scheme, you may claim 80% of your employees wages in order to cover the costs of payroll.
You will make a claim through the HMRC website here using your government gateway information.

FAQs and what-to-do’s:

The measures released earlier this week:
  • A £10,000 cash grant for 700,000 of the UK’s smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2 billion.
  • A temporary increase of business rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value.
  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees.
We’re releasing this blog today (Wednesday 18th March 2020) following a new package of financial measures released last night:
  • £330bn in state-backed loans for all businesses through the banking system with the help of the Bank of England.
  • A potential support package specifically for airlines and airports.
  • An extension of business rates holiday to all firms in the hospitality sector and funding grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 for small businesses.
  • For those in financial difficulty due to coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer a three-month mortgage holiday.

Our advice for you and your business:

What do I need to be eligible?

You must:
  • Be enrolled for PAYE online
  • Have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • Have a UK bank account

What if I have a new starter?

A change from the original announcement of 28th February, the government has now advised that you can only claim for employees who were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19th March 2020. This means you must have notified HMRC on an RTI submission on or before the date. 
If you have a new member of staff as of 28th February (on payroll and and notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28th Feb) who has stopped working or been made redundant since, they may also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

What will I need to have ready to make a claim?

  • your UK bank account number and sort code
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amount you’re going to claiming for, including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
  • your phone number
  • contact name

When can I claim from and how long will it last?

Currently, the scheme will cover 1st March 2020 through to 30th June 2020. The scheme is available for claims as of 20th April. 
Once you’ve made a claim, you’ll be given a claim reference number. Once HMRC have checked the claim (and found it to be correct), they propose the amount will be paid into your bank account within 6 working days.  

What about pension contributions?

As an employer, your auto enrolment duties will continue as normal, whether staff are still working or being furloughed. 
However, the government have announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme payments will include the employer’s statutory minimum Auto Enrolment contribution. You will be able to claim your pension contributions on the 80% of a furloughed worker’s salary, up to the level of the statutory minimum. 

How will it affect employees maternity or paternity pay?

The current situation will not affect your employees entitlement to statutory maternity or paternity pay. If you offer enhanced contractual maternity, paternity or shared leave pay, you may receive support with the costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

What if Golding runs payroll for you?

If we already handle your payroll, don’t worry – we’ve got this covered for you. We’ll be dealing with this as part of your service.

Pour a tea, get ready and make a claim

If you’re making a claim yourself, pop the kettle on, gather all the pieces you’ll need together, and head here. We’ve heard minimal complaints so far about how well the system is working – so hopefully with all the right information to hand, you won’t find it a complicated process. If you do encounter any problems, or have questions about your payroll, we’re here to help!

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