COVID-19: Job Retention Scheme Payroll Portal Open

Yesterday saw the launch of the CJRS portal through the government gateway, HMRC have stated that the portal can cope with high levels of traffic and that claims will be paid six to ten days after submission.

The Government have also released further amendments to the scheme and we have summarised the key points below. These amendments specifically look to clarify how to handle annual leave and how to calculate the 80%.

 

Key Changes

 

The CJRS has been extended by a month to the end of June:

This will allow businesses to plan what happens next slightly more rigidly.

 

Written agreement clarification:

To be eligible for the grant employers must only confirm in writing to their employee that they have been furloughed. This must be done in a way that is consistent with employment law, there must be a written record but the employee does not have to provide a written response. A record of this communication must be kept for five years.

 

The need to keep records and calculations made in respect of CJRS claims:

New wording has been added into guidance to make it clear that employers will need to retain all records and calculations in respect of their claims, including the amount claimed for each furloughed employee and the period for which each employee is furloughed and claimed for.

 

Furloughing those who ceased working for you after 28 February:

You can re-employ and furlough staff immediately, however, the furloughed salary must be calculated on the salary on which you re-employed them on.

 

Fixed-term contracts:

If a fixed-term contract ended before 19 March 2020, they will not qualify for the scheme.

 

Annual Leave:

Employees that are furloughed will continue to accrue annual leave. Employees can take annual leave whilst furloughed (including bank holidays), however, they will need to be paid 100% of normal pay for any period of annual leave. There is still confusion here, as employers need to fund the additional monies that are not covered by CJRS. For employees with a salary exceeding £37,500pa this may be significant.

 

New guidance on calculating relevant wages for a CJRS claim:

The latest guidance from the Government outlines how to calculate national insurance and pension contributions and can be accessed by clicking here.

 

There is also now a step by step guide for making the claim for wages under the CJRS.

 

Our team of accountants remain working from home and have been keeping up to date with the latest measures and schemes. If you need any guidance or advice throughout making a claim under the CJRS, please click here to get in contact with us.

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

We are still here to help you

We have activated our plan for our team to work remotely as much as possible. The office is still open and there will always be someone on reception in normal working hours but for obvious reasons, the telephone and email are the best way to contact us as we follow the UK Government guidance to reduce contact.

If you have any direct questions about your business and the effects of the virus please get in touch with your usual contact or directly to me david@kirkhills.co.uk or adrian@kirkhills.co.uk