Coronavirus job retention scheme extended to employees on payroll on 19 March
HMRC has made further changes to the coronavirus job retention scheme, with the key change being an extension of the scheme to employees on the payroll on or before 19 March 2020, the day before the scheme was announced.
On payroll on or before 19 March 2020
The HMRC guidance updated today now says employers can claim for employees who were on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. The employees must have been notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020, meaning that an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before that date.
Similarly, to be able to claim, the employer must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020.
Re-employing staff and furloughing
Employers can still re-employ staff who left after 28 February and furlough them, even if they do not re-employ them until after 19 March, so long as the employee:
- was on the employer’s payroll as at 28 February and
- had been notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February 2020, meaning that an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 28 February 2020
However, where an employee is being furloughed by their current employer, the previous employer should not re-employ them and furlough them.
Other changes to the guidance include:
- Similar changes have been made where employees have TUPE transferred to a new employer or where there has been a change in ownership of the business and the PAYE business succession rules apply. The new employer will be able to claim in respect of employees transferred to it after 19 March 2020 (instead of 28 February)
- The salary employers should use as the basis for the claim has changed. Employers should now use the employee’s salary for the last pay period prior to 19 March 2020. However, if, based on the previous guidance, they have already calculated their claim based on the employee’s salary at 28 February (and this differs from their salary in the last pay period prior to 19 March), the employer can still choose to use this calculation for their first claim
- Employees who went on unpaid leave on or before 28 February cannot be furloughed until the date on which it was agreed they would return from unpaid leave. Previously the guidance said they could not be furloughed at all
- Additional section about the information an employer needs to claim. This indicates that:
- If the employer has fewer than 100 furloughed staff they can enter details of each employee they are claiming for directly into the system. This will include their name, National Insurance number, claim period and claim amount, and payroll/employee number (optional)
- If the employer has 100 or more furloughed staff they will be asked to upload a file with this information rather than input it directly into the system. HMRC will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods
- Employers should retain all records and calculations in respect of their claims
- HMRC cannot provide employees with details of claims employers make on their behalf and so it asks employers to keep employees informed, answering any questions they might have and to ask them not to contact HMRC
The guidance still contains nothing about taking holiday while furloughed.
Click here to see the updated guidance.
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