UPDATE HMRC has released further guidance on the Job Retention/Furlough Scheme.
HMRC have confirmed that they expect the online service via which you claim the furlough grant to be up and running by the end of April.
They have confirmed that you have to have enrolled for PAYE online and advise this can take up to 10 days.
HMRC have also confirmed that apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue their training whilst furloughed. However, the minimum payment they must receive is the appropriate minimum wage – apprenticeship, national living or national minimum – during the time that they spend training. Therefore if there is a shortfall you have to cover it.
HMRC have also confirmed employees who are foreign nationals can also be furloughed.
If an employee is on sick leave or self isolating then they receive sick pay – you cannot claim the furlough grant whilst someone is receiving SSP.
You can however claim the furlough grant for employees who are having to take shielding measures or live with someone who is having to take shielding measures if they cannot work from home and you would have to otherwise make them redundant.
Employees with caring responsibilities e.g. children, can be furloughed if they are unable to work because of those caring responsibilities.
Employees who have more than one job can be furloughed from both (the cap applies to each individual employer) or just one and carry on working for the other.
Employees on fixed term contracts can be furloughed and can have their fixed term extended or renewed without breaking the terms of the job retention scheme.
Directors and LLP salaried members can also be furloughed and can continue to carry out their statutory duties – i.e. attend board meetings but cannot otherwise work. The decision has to be agreed by the individual and also adopted formally as a decision of the company. For assistance with Board Resolutions please contact Hannah Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01384 267 110
The written confirmation to employees who have agreed to be furloughed must be kept for 5 years.
Claims have to be made from the date the employee stops work not the date the employee agreed or was sent written confirmation.
HMRC has confirmed you can claim for amounts that you have to regularly pay your employees so you can include wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. You cannot claim for discretionary bonuses, discretionary commission or non-cash payments or benefits in kind or benefits provided through salary sacrifice schemes.
Apprenticeship Levy and Student Loan payments have to continue to be paid – the furlough grant does not cover these.
If the 80% takes an employee below national minimum wage (save where stated above) this is ok as employees are only required to receive that when they are working.
Employees can be placed on furlough and then brought back to work multiple times BUT the furlough period each time must be for a minimum of 3 weeks.
You have to pay the employee the money you receive for their gross pay – you cannot make a charge for administration fees etc.