Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Important Update

Chris DowningDirector, Inspire Professional Services Ltd

HMRC have updated the guidance on the Job Retention Scheme. Or have they…well, in some circumstances!

Previously, those employed since 1 March would not be eligible for the scheme, but the introduction of the new date means that anyone in employment from 19 March (the day before the scheme was announced) could now benefit from of the government’s grant covering 80% of the wages, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month.

To clarify, employers can now claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means the employer needs to have recorded the Employee on a Real Time Information (RTI) submission on, or before 19 March. An RTI submission is a report sent to HMRC, on or before the date the payroll is run, confirming who is being paid etc. So, HMRC will need to have received an RTI report for anyone you wish to make a furlough claim for.

Therefore, this will make a difference for weekly paid employees, who will have featured on RTI submission before that date, or monthly paid employees whose pay date is on or before 19 March. For the majority of businesses who pay monthly, and have a pay date towards the end of the month, this will make no difference.

So in summary, for many people, this is a technical guidance update rather than a concession, but some people will benefit in the circumstances noted above.

More generally, the Job Retention Scheme portal will open for applications to be submitted on Monday (20 April) and earlier this week, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, confirmed that claims will be processed within days, not weeks, meaning that funds should be available in time for April pay run – but only if applications are submitted promptly and accurately. You can read more advice and detail on this in our latest blog.

Inspire is here to help you with your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme applications and can offer support for on a fixed-fee basis.  Please get in touch to find out more – call us on 01202 717867 or info@inspire.uk.net