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COVID-19 Advice for business - Furlough leave extended to the end of June - news article image

COVID-19 Advice for business - Furlough leave extended to the end of June

20 Apr 2020

2 minute read

The Government’s furlough scheme will be extended for a further month to the end of June.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which went live today (20 April 2020) was initially in place until the end of May. This allows employers to ‘furlough’ (meaning to grant ‘a leave of absence’) employees and claim 80% of their wages from the Government. See my colleague Kerry’s recent article including FAQ’s on this for more detail.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extension to the scheme shortly after the decision was made to keep the UK in full lockdown for at least another three weeks. Future decisions on the scheme will take into account further developments on the wider measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as the responsible management of public finances.

Employers can apply for the scheme through HMRC’s online portal and will need the Government Gateway user ID and password for PAYE online. The money expected to be in the bank accounts of businesses within six working days.

It is likely that the traffic for this portal which opened at 7am this morning will be heavy and the HMRC phone lines will be busy therefore, it is important to be prepared before starting your claim. HMRC have produced a step-by-step guide for employers to help them understand the rules, with the five immediate top tips being:

  • Businesses need to make sure that they follow correct legal process when furloughing an employee, as it is strictly a change to their employment contact
  • Careful calculations are required in relation to holiday pay, maternity pay, sick pay, pensions and salary sacrifice as these can give rise to anomalies
  • The grant can only be paid into the UK bank account of employer making the claim
  • When making the application, all the information must be submitted at once i.e. there is no option to save and return to the form later
  • Amendments cannot be made to the form after submission, so it’s important that the application is submitted fully and accurately at the first attempt
  • HMRC will not provide any e-mail confirmation for submission and the employer should print the submission record and make a note of the reference number.
COVID-19 Advice for business - Furlough leave extended to the end of June - news article image

Author:

Katie Preston

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