Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, SSP Relief and Self-Employed Support
The following fact sheet provides a handy, easy-to-digest guide on the support announced by the Government on 5th November, including the Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
To support businesses through the current lockdown restrictions, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) - also known as the Furlough scheme - will remain open until the end of March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
- All employers are eligible
- There is no maximum number of employees you can claim for from 1 November 2020
- Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis or furlough them full-time
- The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours that the employee doesn’t work
- Employers can furlough employees for any amount of time and any work pattern
- Businesses will need to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions
- Employees continue to maintain all their employment rights and accrue holiday pay as previously
- The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.
- Employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020
- You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim for periods from 1 November 2020.
Small and medium-sized businesses and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
- The refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
- Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as at 28 February 2020.
- Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19.
- Repayments will be at the relevant rate of SSP that has been paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
- Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note form NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website.
- Employers can claim from the first qualifying day that an employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after:
- 13 March 2020 - if an employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
- 16 April 2020 - if an employee was shielding because of coronavirus
- 28 May 2020 - if an employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus, employers can claim from the first qualifying day an employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after:
- Tax agents will also be able to make claims on behalf of employers.
- Employers can make a claim for SSP paid due to coronavirus to employees who have been transferred under TUPE if you had:
- a PAYE scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
- fewer than 250 employees (including TUPE transferred employees) across all PAYE payroll schemes on 28 February 2020
Self-Employment Scheme Extension Guidance
Guidance on the extension of the Self-Employment Scheme announced has been published. To be eligible for the grant extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:
- currently, be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
- declare that they are currently actively trading and intend to continue to trade
- declare that they are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus in the qualifying period (the qualifying period for the grant extension is between 1 November and the date of claim)
The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. HMRC will provide a taxable grant covering 80 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total