Government issues guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims

Eloise Hanson Eloise Hanson Uploaded 27 March 2020

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UK: Almost one week after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the launch of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the government has published guidance for employers to claim funding for employee wages.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to all UK employers for at least three months, starting from 1 March 2020, and is expected to be up and running by the end of April.  

The scheme is available to UK employers that have started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 28 February 2020.

Employees can be on any type of contract including full-time, part-time, flexible and zero-hour contracts, as well as agency contracts.

Key points include:

  • For furloughed staff, an employee can not undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation, and wages will be subject to usual income tax and other deductions.
  • If an employee is working, but on reduced hours or for reduced pay, they will not be eligible for the scheme.
  • Employers should keep a written record confirming the agreement of staff furlough in order to be eligible for the subsidy.
  • The scheme also covers employees who were made redundant since 28 February 2020, if they are rehired by their employers. 

Employers can make a claim to cover the lower of 80 per cent of an employees regular wage, or £2,500 per month. 

Further guidance will be provided on how employers can calculate their claims for Employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions before the scheme becomes live.

Claims can be submitted once every three weeks, which is the minimum length an employee can be furloughed for. 

For details on how to make a claim, including the necessary documents needed, the full government publication is available here.

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