April 15, 2020
The scheme was put in place for 3 months, but it may be extended if necessary, in order to support employers during the COVID-19 crisis. Employers can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their normal monthly pay, reclaiming up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee. In addition, employers can claim their NI contributions and statutory pension contributions on the furloughed pay amount.
Three key points clarified in the new guidance:
Employers are entitled to furlough employees who are being shielded or off on long-term sick leave. Employers are also entitled to switch employees from sick pay to furlough leave and vice versa. However, this should not be abused to top up Statutory Sick Pay.
The Government has confirmed that employers are entitled to claim under the CJRS in respect of employees of a previous business transferred after 28 February 2020* if either the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership.
Employees with certain work visas are entitled to receive funds under the CJRS, without being in breach of their visa conditions.
Additional points of clarification include:
The reclaimable NI and pension elements are on the furlough salary, as opposed to normal salary.
Employees cannot work for the employer OR organisations linked to the employer whilst they are on furlough leave.
Employers cannot use the reclaimed grant to fund benefits; all of the money must be paid to the employee with no deductions for payments such as fees or administration charges.
HMRC also announced that the online claims portal for the Scheme is due to open on 20 April 2020. It is HMRC’s aim for employers to be paid the first furlough payments 4 to 6 working days after submission of their claim.
For the full guidance on the CJRS, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
*On 15 April 2020, the qualifying date changed from 28 February to 19 March 2020.
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