HMRC have been called on by the Chancellor to urgently direct financial support to whered businesses need it most. The first wave of this is the launch of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Claims should not be made by phone, it will be an online service.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chancellor announced a series of measures to support businesses and their employees. One of those measures is the CJRS, that allows employers to claim 80% of the wages of staff (up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee) that they have furloughed (been put on temporary leave).
HMRC is working at pace to deliver the service that will allow businesses to make a claim.
Businesses and Agents that are authorised to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters, will be able to claim.
Service launch - the scheme should be ready to launch on 20th April 2020.
Businesses will need the following information on each of their furloughed employees:
If we are your Agent then we will go through this process for you - as soon as we are made aware that the process is ready to begin then our payroll team will submit claims for those staff that you have advised are to be furloughed. We will liase with you before submission is made.
HMRC are asking that you do not ring them with a query, get in touch with us preferably via email and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
The latest guidance on CJRS can be found on GOV.UK by searching for 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme'.
HMRC will also be providing you with further information on our support for businesses and workers over the coming weeks, including more detail on the Coronavirus Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
We would like to thank you for your help to businesses at this time of national need. HMRC is working day and night, prioritising the need to get the financial support out to those who need it.
Self-employed individuals are to be paid 80% of trading profits, up to £2,500 a month, to help them cope with coronavirus crisis. This will be based on figures for the last three years TRADING PROFIT up to £50k. It will cover those who earn a MAJORITY of their income from being self employed and they must have filed a 2019 tax return.
It looks as though the function to claim this grant is not going to be up and running until the beginning of June 2020. Meanwhile, the Chancellor is recommending that people apply under the Universal Credit system to get help straight away.
If you haven't filed your tax return for April 2019 then the Chancellor is giving extra time to get your return filed. So if you missed your deadline and still haven't filed you have the chance to catch up and still be eligible for this grant.
A furloughed employee is one who has been given a temporary leave of abscence due to the needs of an employer. This means a furloughed worker can return to work in the future and will get paid. The salary payment could be at 80% which the government are covering and it is up to the employer if they wish to cover the 20% to make up the salary.
The scheme is said to be going to run for 3 months from 1st March but they may potentially extend it. The maximum amount of time a worker can be furloughed is one year.
Specific Covid-19 plans..
If an employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access support to continue paying part of staff wages, to avoid redundancies.
If an employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss with staff becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that employees are kept on the payroll, rather than being laid off.
To qualify for this scheme, employees should not undertake work for the employer while they are furloughed. This will allow the employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of wages for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
As a payroll service provider we will be keeping you up to date with the latest developments and hope to find out exactly how to apply very soon.
Certifying absence from work
By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home.
We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.
If evidence is required to cover self-isolation or household isolation beyond the first 7 days of absence then employees can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online or from the NHS website.
What to do if an employee needs time off work to look after someone
Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a ‘dependant’) in an unexpected event or emergency. This would apply to situations related to coronavirus (COVID-19). For example:
The Self Employed
Every self-employed person can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees
Support for individuals
https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/ or new style Employment and Support Allowance.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
• A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch early next week to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.
• The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
• Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.
• You are eligible for the scheme if:
Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service
A grant will be available for those business who are currently eligilble for SBRR - Small Business Rates Releif. We have been advised by Sunderland Council that this will be administered by the Council’s Business Rates team.
Detailed administration procedures are expected to be as follows to ensure that the support goes to the correct organisations: