On Friday 27th March 2020, HMRC made some more information available regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The key points are as follows;
- HMRC expects the scheme to be up and running by the end of April and payments can be backdated to 1st March 2020
- The scheme will pay 80% of a worker’s pay (averaged over the past 12 months or period of employment if less than 12 months), up to a maximum of £2500 a month or £576.92 a week
- This pay will be subject to PAYE and NI when it is paid
- National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage do not apply as no hours are being worked during the furlough period, therefore if the average pay is NLW then 80% of this will be payable
- The scheme is available to those paid PAYE at the end of February 2020
- Workers who joined after that must claim Universal Credit directly from HMRC
- If workers on SSP (statutory sick pay) due to self-isolation, the furloughing process can only begin once the self-isolation has ended
- To be furloughed, a worker must agree this with their employer, it is not mandatory for the employer to offer this or for the worker to accept it (Exchequer Solutions will be offering this to all eligible PAYE workers)
- To be furloughed, a worker cannot do any work at all, with the furloughing period lasting a minimum of three weeks
What we will be doing next
In the coming days will we will be contacting all eligible workers to discuss their circumstances, if this includes yourself then;
- We will calculate the average weekly pay, in accordance with the scheme rules and let you know this amount, you WILL receive this for each week you are furloughed.
- We will agree with you whether you wish to be furloughed and the start date of this furloughing (when your site shut due to Covid-19)
- We will work with HMRC as quickly as possible to understand the finer details of the scheme
- We will let you know when payments will be processed and in what frequencies, it is possible they will be paid monthly or fortnightly. HMRC has said that they won’t have the scheme in place until the end of April, so we should be prepared for payments to start arriving then. We should know more in the next few weeks and will update you as we have more information.
We would like to reassure you that ALL eligible workers will receive their money as quickly as practically possible.
If you have any queries, please call us and we’ll be happy to help, though please bear in mind that the scheme is still being written so we don’t have all the answers just yet.
We will update this our Covid-19 news section with more guidance as it becomes available.