Covid-19Posted on 16.04.2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The government’s guidance on the operation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was updated recently to include a range of further information.

Eligibility

The latest guidance on eligibility has been updated in relation to being “severely affected”, with the Government saying that “all employers are eligible to claim under the scheme and the government recognises different businesses will face different impacts from coronavirus.”

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst furloughed.

Salaried Company Directors are eligible for support through the scheme.

There has been no update to guidance on Directors paid by dividend.

Eligibility dates extended

The eligibility date was also extended to 19 March 2020. Previously, to qualify and to protect against fraudulent claims, individuals had to be employed on February 28. But following a review of the delivery system, new guidance has confirmed the eligibility date has been extended to March 19 2020– the day before the scheme was announced.

Information required to make a claim on behalf of employees, including:
a ePAYE reference number:
the number of employees being furloughed
the claim period (start and end date)
amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
a bank account number and sort code
a contact name
a phone number

Redundancy

Grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.

HMRC will continue to monitor businesses after the scheme has closed.

You can read the full details here

Below is a summary of the government support for the self-employed:

  • Access to a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly profits over last 3 years 
  • This grant will be capped at £2,500 per month
  • The grants will cover the three months to May. Grants will be paid in a single lump-sum instalment covering all 3 months, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June
  • The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19
  • To qualify, more than half of your income in these periods must come from self-employment.
  • And you must also already be registered with HMRC as self-employed 
  • If you meet the criteria you will be able to claim this grant and continue to do business at the same time
  • Where a tax return hasn’t already been filed: Those who are already self-employed have been granted a four-week extension from today 26 March to file their self-assessment tax return.
  • Eligible self-employed can also access business interruption loans and universal credit
  • Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite you to apply once the scheme is operational.
  • Further information and details of the scheme will be shared shortly by HMRC

For more details, read the government announcement on 26 March.