Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The government has now updated its employer guidance – on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – and a link, as from this morning (27 March), is here; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.  Be careful to check, when referencing this, that you are always considering the most up to date document! It is not yet clear whether this guidance is to become legislation, following on from this.
It is also still recommended you take specialist employment law (and also separate accounting/payroll) advice, surrounding the Scheme. This would include the placing of staff on furlough leave and you can contact our Euan Smith, to discuss this, and any other queries; 07741908566 or euan.smith@macandmac.co.uk. Needless to say, while this situation is still evolving, businesses will need to weigh things up and may have to make swift decisions, to protect the business/jobs. Here are a few “headline” points but it will be best the latest guidance is best read in full.

-It appears the scheme will not apply to those staff not on PAYE payroll, by 1 March;
-It appears, once up and running, that employers will not be able to claim weekly and the shortest grant/reimbursement claim period will be three weeks.
-For staff whose pay varies (including zero-hours staff), although it is also possible this could apply to (regular) “overtime”, it seems you can claim the higher of average monthly 2019/2020 tax year earnings, or else the same month’s earnings the previous year. Hopefully further guidance will emerge as to the treatment of employee/staff overtime;
-Fees, commissions and bonuses shall not be included in the calculation of the 80%;
-There is also information on NICS and pension contributions;
-the staff member must not work at all;
-It would seem possible to rotate “furloughed” workers, although staff would need to be off for at least three weeks at a time.”

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March 27, 2020