- The portal to reclaim 80% of an employee’s costs is now open. It can be accessed through the Government Gateway here.
- The government has extended the start date for eligibility for furlough to 19 March from original 28 February meaning 200,000 more people can benefit.
- The scheme will be available to all UK employers, of any size and in any sector (small or large, including charitable or non-profit).
- It involves “furloughing” designated workers who would otherwise have been “laid off” during this crisis.
- This will involve keeping those workers on the payroll instead of dismissing them as redundant or putting them on unpaid lay-off.
- HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers’ gross wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per worker per month.
- Workers cannot do any work for an employer that has furloughed them.
- The employer can top-up the 80% HMRC payment but does not have to.
Forthcoming changes to the scheme:
- 10 June closure of the scheme to new entrants: The deadline to add employees to be furloughed is 10 June 2020. This is because the scheme will close to anyone who hasn’t been furloughed for 3 weeks by 30 June. You will only be able to claim for employees after that if they have been furloughed for a full three-week period at any time before the end of June. Therefore, if you intend to furlough an employee who hasn’t been furloughed before, you will need to agree that with them and start their period of furlough on or before 10 June. You will then have until 31 July to make a claim for any periods of furlough up until 30 June – this applies to both employees furloughed for the first time and those you have previously furloughed and claimed for.
- From 1 July: Employers can bring furloughed employees back to work part time. Employers will pay their wages for the time they are in work and can apply under the scheme to cover any of their normal hours they are furloughed for.
- From 1 August: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
- From 1 September: The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
- From 1 October: The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
To make a claim you will need:
- to be registered for PAYE online
- your UK bank account number and sort code
- your employer PAYE scheme reference number
- the number of employees being furloughed
- each employee’s National Insurance number
- each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
- the start date and end date of the claim
- the full amount you’re claiming for including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
- your phone number
- contact name
- You also need to provide either: The employer name, your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference, your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference or your company registration number.
- Further detail on furloughing workers can be found on .gov here.
Before you furlough you should:
- Advise the employees who you intend to furlough.
- Send a letter to these employees confirming how much they will be paid, the date from and to (of if until further notice) and that their contract of employment will be temporarily varied. They should provide their consent.
- There are templates for such letters available from ACAS here.
- The system will be managed through HMRC’s online portal and after checking the claim, HMRC will pay it by BACS to a UK bank account within 6 working days.
- You must then keep a copy of all records, including:
- the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
- the claim reference number for your records
- your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
- tell your employees that you have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action
- pay your employee their wages, if you have not already
Our furloughing service:
- We have put in place an additional service for payroll clients to process and submit their furloughed employee reports to HMRC to process their claims.
- For clients where we are already your PAYE Agent, we are able to carry out this work immediately. If we are not your PAYE Agent we will need to make arrangements for you to authorise us to submit information on your behalf to HMRC before we can begin.
- If you would like us to complete this for you, please contact our Payroll Manager, Ula Namyslowska by email. Ula will confirm the information that is needed from you and how to send this to her.
We have contacted our Payroll clients regarding our furloughing service for submitting their claims to HMRC. Please contact our team if you would like to discuss how we can assist.