Firstly for the Staff Retention Scheme update, we are being advised that you need to keep records of the ongoing Furloughing of employees. Therefore you need to advise that at the end of each “Furlough” whether this should continue or not, as it is a change to their contract they should agree to this by responding to your email. Jen has prepared a template letter/e-mail that you can send, which I have attached.
If you think that it is appropriate to end the Furlough, she has done a template email for you to use, which I have attached.
All correspondence around Furlough must be kept for 5 years.
The Furlough Portal has now gone live
This is an extract of the Governments update – here is the link to the portal.
Unfortunately, as HR professionals, we can’t advise further on this, you will need to speak to your accountant for advice and support.
The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live today, with businesses able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.
Employers can apply for direct cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal – with the money expected to land in their bank accounts within six working days.
The job retention scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of a package of support to protect jobs and businesses, allows employers to claim for a cash grant of up to 80% of a furloughed employees wages, capped at £2,500 a month.
Millions of people across the UK are expected to benefit from the scheme, with businesses including Pret a Manger, Brewdog and Timpsons using it to ensure staff keep their jobs and are paid whilst many high street businesses are closed.
HMRC’s easy to use portal has a step by step application process and up to 5,000 staff will be manning phone lines and webchat services to ensure any questions can be answered.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
Our unprecedented job retention scheme will protect millions of jobs across the country and is now up and running.
It’s vital that our economy gets up and running again as soon as it’s safe – and this scheme will allow that to happen.
Last week the Chancellor announced the scheme will be extended for a further month until the end of June, to reflect continuing Covid-19 lockdown measures.
Our research indicates that two-thirds of firms have furloughed some portion of their workforce. With April’s payday approaching, it is essential that the application process is smooth and that payments are made as soon as possible. Any delay would exacerbate the cash crisis many companies are facing and could threaten jobs and businesses.
The Job Retention Scheme is part of a package of measures announced by the Chancellor to support the country through the coronavirus pandemic. He has already supported employers with a £30bn injection of cash by deferring VAT payments for the next quarter, has launched a scheme for the self-employed, loans for businesses and a rise in Universal Credit.
- Employers can furlough anyone they employ, provided that on or before March 19 they were on PAYE payroll and HMRC has been notified of payment via the RTI system.
- More information about government support for businesses can be found here.
- The link to the online portal can be found here.