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ATT issues last call for firms seeking to use increased Annual Investment Allowance-Updated-17.11.20

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has issued a last call for businesses looking to make use of the increased Annual Investment Allowance (AIA).
The AIA will be reduced from £1 million to £200,000 from 1 January 2021. Businesses that incur significant expenditure on plant and machinery before the end of this year are likely to get tax relief on the cost much earlier than if the purchase is made in 2021.
Jeremy Coker, President of the ATT, said:
‘The AIA rules can catch a business unawares. Many businesses will have deferred decisions about purchasing capital equipment this year because of the enormous uncertainties created by the pandemic. For any which are considering such purchases now, the scheduled ending of the temporary increase in the AIA in two months’ time introduces an unwelcome additional complexity.
‘Although the timing of a purchase may make no difference in the long run to the amount of expenditure which qualifies for tax relief, it can make an enormous difference to how quickly that relief is received and the contribution that the relief can make to the cashflow of a business.’

Brexit imports and exports -Updated-14.11.20

From 1 January 2021, the UK will operate a full external border with the EU, which will entail major changes for imports and exports to and from the trading bloc. From 1 January 2021, declarations will be needed to import or export specific (limited) goods categorised as ‘controlled’.
However, for non-controlled goods brought from the EU to GB, import controls apply in three stages: January, April and July 2021. Some changes will apply to all goods movements, and will involve customs declarations, customs duties and VAT on imports, and safety and security declarations. ‘Additional requirements’ come in, but only affect certain specific goods movements, such as foodstuffs.
Action points to consider now include:
Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers: from 1 January 2021, an EORI number with the prefix ‘GB’ is needed to move goods between the UK and the EU, unless you only move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Remember that from January 2021, it will be important to think about both the UK and EU sides of the equation: to comply with EU requirements, you will, for example, need an EU EORI number if your business makes customs declarations or gets a customs decision in the EU.
Using a customs intermediary: given the complexity of UK and EU customs declarations, you may want to engage a customs intermediary to deal on your behalf.
Postponed VAT accounting for goods imported from the EU: from 1 January 2021, import VAT applies to imports from the EU. Using ‘postponed VAT accounting’ from 1 January 2021 lets you account for import VAT on your VAT return, giving the potential to declare and recover import VAT on the same return.
Delaying customs declarations and payment of tariffs: when the UK’s full suite of border controls are in place in July 2021, full customs declarations and payment of customs duties, as set out in the new UK Global Tariff (or as specified in any trade deal with the EU) must take place when goods are imported from the EU. But from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, most traders with a good compliance record can defer declaration and payment for up to six months on imports of standard goods from the EU.
This is only a summary outline of some of the issues involved. Gov.uk provides an online checker tool to use in your own circumstances. Do talk to us where further advice is needed.

54,800 customers claim tax relief for working from home-Updated-12.11.20

HMRC has received more than 54,800 claims from taxpayers using a new online portal which allows workers to claim tax relief for working at home.
From 6 April 2020, employers have been able to pay employees up to £6 a week tax-free to cover additional costs if they have had to work from home.
Launched on 1 October 2020, the online portal has been set up to process tax relief on additional expenses for employed workers who have been told to work from home by their employer to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
From 6 April 2020, employers have been able to pay employees up to £6 a week tax-free to cover additional costs if they have had to work from home. Employees who have not received the working from home expenses payment direct from their employer can apply to receive the tax relief from HMRC.
HMRC is encouraging taxpayers claiming tax relief for working from home to apply directly through GOV.UK working at home.
Eligible taxpayers can claim tax relief based on the rate at which they pay tax. For example, if an employed worker pays the 20% basic rate of tax and claims tax relief on £6 a week, they would receive £1.20 a week in tax relief (20% of £6 a week) towards the cost of their household bills.
Higher rate taxpayers would therefore receive £2.40 a week (40% of £6 a week). Over the course of the year, this could mean taxpayers can reduce the tax they pay by £62.40 or £124.80 respectively.
HMRC’s Interim Director General of Customer Services, Karl Khan, said:
‘We want everyone to get the money that they are entitled to, so we’ve made the online service as easy to use as we can – it takes just a few minutes to make a claim.
‘Once the application has been approved, the online portal will adjust an individual’s tax code for the 2020/21 tax year. The employee will receive the tax relief directly through their salary and will continue to receive the adjustment until March 2021.’

Self assessment customers to benefit from enhanced payment plans-Updated-10.11.20

Self assessment taxpayers are now able to benefit from enhanced payment plans and can apply online for additional support to help spread their tax bill into monthly payments.
The online payment plan service was already able to set up instalment arrangements for paying tax liabilities up to £10,000. From 1 October 2020, HMRC increased the threshold to £30,000 for self assessment customers following Chancellor’s Rishi Sunak’s announcement on 24 September 2020.
As part of that speech, the Chancellor announced that self assessment taxpayers could pay their deferred payment on account bill from July 2020, any outstanding tax owed for 2019/20 and their first payment on account for 2020/21 in monthly instalments, up to 12 months, via this self-serve tool.
Taxpayers who wish to set up their own self-serve Time to Pay arrangements must meet the following requirements:
• they have no outstanding tax returns, other tax debts or other HMRC payment plans set up
• the debt needs to be between £32 and £30,000; and
• the payment plan needs to be set up no later than 60 days after the due date of a debt.
Taxpayers using self-serve Time to Pay will be required to pay any interest on any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, said:
‘We are supporting jobs by giving more breathing space to up to 11 million self assessment taxpayers when managing their tax affairs.
‘Enhancing Time to Pay should ease the financial burdens and protect the livelihoods of these taxpayers, as they navigate the months ahead.’
HMRC is also warning taxpayers to be aware of scams claiming to be from HMRC, offering to help set up payment plans to pay any tax owed. These scams are trying to harvest taxpayers’ details, in order to steal their money.
Please contact us for advice on meeting your tax payments.

Chancellor approves grants for businesses closed by lockdown-Updated-09.11.20

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced approved additional funding for cash grants to support businesses required to close in England due to the lockdown.
Those businesses affected will be eligible for the following:
• For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks
• For properties with a rateable value of between £15,000-£51,000 grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks
• For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
The Chancellor said:
‘I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.’

Increased support made available for the self employed-Updated-08.11.20

The government has increased the support available to self-employed workers and extended its emergency business loan schemes as the UK heads for a second national lockdown.
On 5 November Rishi Sunak announced an increase in the level of the third instalment of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) from 55% to 80% of average trading profits for November to January. SEISS grants are calculated over three months and the uplift for November to January, increases the level of the third grant to 80% of trading profits. The maximum grant will be capped at £7,500.
The SEISS grants will also be paid faster than previously planned, with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
‘The rapidly changing health picture has meant we have had to act in order to protect people’s lives and I know this is an incredibly worrying time for the self-employed. That is why we have increased the generosity of the third grant, ensuring those who cannot trade or are facing decreased demand are able to get through the months ahead.’

Furlough scheme extended-What Chancellor Rishi Sunak said- Updated-07.11.20

On 5 November, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that as part of the new national lockdown the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of March 2021. This announcement updates the Prime Minister’s previous announcement on 31 October that the CJRS would be extended for a month until December.
The scheme has also reverted to its original level of support. Furloughed employees will receive 80% of salary for hours not worked and businesses asked only to cover national insurance and employer pension contributions.
The CJRS was due to have ended on 31 October after being scaled back to cover 60% of salaries during that month.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the scheme will retain the flexible element and furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
A statement from the Treasury also confirmed that the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which had been due to launch on 1 November has now been postponed, and will not start until the CJRS has closed.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
‘I’ve always said I would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK – and that has meant adapting our support as the path of the virus has changed.
‘It’s clear the economic effects are much longer lasting for businesses than the duration of any restrictions, which is why we have decided to go further with our support.
‘Extending furlough and increasing our support for the self-employed will protect millions of jobs and give people and businesses the certainty they need over what will be a difficult winter.’

Extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme-Updated-06.11.20

The government is extending the CJRS to support individuals and businesses who are impacted by disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) this winter. This is an extension of the CJRS and the scheme rules will remain the same except where we say otherwise.

The CJRS (also known as the furlough scheme) will remain open until 31 March 2021. For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked.

The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.

Claims can be made by employers across the UK that meet the eligibility criteria.

1. Employers who can claim under the CJRS extension
Employers do not need to have used the CJRS previously.

Employers across the UK can claim, whether their businesses are open or closed.

2. Employees furloughed under the CJRS extension
2.1 Core employee eligibility criteria
Employers can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.

Employers will have flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time or shift pattern, furloughing employees on either a full-time or part-time basis, and will be able to vary the hours worked in agreement with the employee.

As under the current CJRS rules, employees can be on any type of employment contract.

2.2 Employees not claimed for previously under CJRS
Employees do not need to have been furloughed under the CJRS previously.

For employees that meet the eligibility criteria, and were previously furloughed, employers must use the same calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours as CJRS.

For an employee who meets the criteria of the extended scheme but was not previously eligible for CJRS, the alternative calculations of reference pay and usual hours must be used. For all other employees, employers must use the CJRS calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours.

Employer contributions during the CJRS extension until January will be the same as in August 2020. This means that for hours not worked by their employee, employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions. The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.

Employers will have to pay the employee’s wages for the hours they work as normal, as well as employer National Insurance and employer pension contributions.

2.3 Employees whose health has been affected by coronavirus or other conditions
Employees can be furloughed where they are unable to work because they:

are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding)
have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, including employees that need to look after children
The CJRS is not intended for short-term sick absences. If, however, employers want to furlough employees for business reasons and they are currently off sick, they are eligible to do so, as with other employees.

Furloughed employees who become ill, due to coronavirus or any other cause, must be paid at least Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). As under the CJRS previously, it is up to employers to decide whether to move these employees onto SSP or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate.

2.4 Employees re-employed by their employer
Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.

Similarly, an employee who was on a fixed term contract, on payroll on 23 September, and that contract expired after 23 September can be re-employed and claimed for, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met.

2.5 When employees are on furlough
As under the CJRS previously, during hours which employees are recorded as being on furlough, they cannot do any work for their employer that makes money or provides services for their employer or any organisation linked or associated with their employer.

Employees can:

take part in training
volunteer for another employer or organisation
work for another employer (if contractually allowed)

2.6 Maintaining employee rights
Employees will retain their rights at work, including:

SSP
annual leave
maternity and other parental rights
rights against unfair dismissal
redundancy payments
to be paid at least statutory National Minimum Wage for hours worked
In addition, as with the current CJRS:

the Working Tax Credits working hours easement will apply for the period of this CJRS extension
for employees on statutory parental leave, there will be no change from CJRS

3. Other conditions of claiming CJRS
3.1 Paying employees’ taxes
Employees will still pay the taxes they normally pay out of their wages.

Employers must deduct and pay to HMRC Income Tax and employee National Insurance contributions on the full amount that they pay the employee, including any scheme grant. The CJRS grant does not cover employers’ National Insurance contributions or pension contributions.

Employers must also pay to HMRC the employer National Insurance contributions on the full amount that they pay the employee, including any scheme grant.

3.2 Employer – employee agreement
Employers do not need to place all of their employees on furlough and they can fully furlough employees if they wish. Employees cannot undertake any work for their employer during the hours that the employer records them as being on furlough.

There is no minimum furlough period. Flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time. Employees can enter into a flexible furlough agreement more than once.

Although flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time, unless otherwise specified the period claimed for must be for a minimum claim period of 7 consecutive calendar days.

Employers can:

fully furlough employees – this means the employee does no work for the employer
flexibly furlough employees – this means employees can work for any amount of time, and any work pattern and claim the grant for the furloughed hours, with reference to hours the employee would usually have worked in that period
Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. When employers are making decisions in relation to the CJRS process, including deciding who to offer furlough to, employment, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.

To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed.

Employers must:

make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
keep a written record of the agreement for 5 years
keep records of how many hours their employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (for example, not working), for 6 years
The employee does not have to provide a written response and employers do not need to place all their employees on furlough.

The terms of any agreement must:

reflect the hours the employee has actually worked or not worked over the period of the agreement
allow the employer to satisfy the terms of CJRS so they can make a claim in relation to hours not worked
Where consistent with employment law, any flexible furlough or furlough agreement made retrospectively that has effect from 1 November 2020 will be valid for the purposes of a CJRS claim as long as it is made according to the conditions above. Only retrospective agreements put in place up to and including the 13 November 2020 may be relied on for the purposes of a CJRS claim.

4. What employers can claim – calculations
This policy paper applies for CJRS claims for periods starting on or after 1 November 2020.

The closing date for claims up to and including 31 October remains 30 November 2020, using existing CJRS guidance.

All employees on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 will be able to use the CJRS calculations as applied in August 2020 for reference pay and usual hours. However, for new employers claiming and new employees hired between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020 the CJRS methodology will update the reference pay and usual hours to take account of the period covered by the extension.

For employees on fixed pay employed on or after 20 March 2020, the last pay period prior to 30 October 2020 provides the basis for calculation. For employees on variable pay or hours, employed after 20 March, the average of tax year 2020 to 2021 up to the start of the furlough provides the basis for calculation.

4.1 For employees who were previously eligible for CJRS, the calculation rules will remain the same
The existing CJRS calculation of 80% of usual wages and of usual hours will apply to all employees who were eligible under CJRS even if a claim was not made in respect of that employee under CJRS to 31 October 2020.

Where an employee was not previously eligible for CJRS, the calculation will take account of updated reference periods. Full details of the calculation will be shared in guidance on 10 November 2020.

For claims between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 employers will be able to claim a grant for 80% of usual wages up to a maximum government grant of £2,500 per month per employee for the time the employee spends on furlough. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked.

The government will cover the cost of 80% of the salary of every eligible employee, up to a maximum government grant of £2,500 per month per employee for the time the employee spends on furlough.

Employers will need to:

pay their employees for the time worked and the government grant for the time not worked;
operate PAYE on behalf of their employees, as per CJRS
pay employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions for their employees on the full amount that they pay the employee, including any scheme grant
Employers will not be:

required to contribute towards 80% of the employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked
able to claim for employer National Insurance contributions or pension contributions
Employers can top up employee wages above the maximum salary threshold at their own expense.

4.2 Reference pay: calculating 80% of wages
If an employee was not previously eligible for CJRS, 80% of wages must be calculated for employees:

on a fixed salary – 80% of the wages payable in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020
whose pay varies – 80% of the average payable between (these dates are inclusive) the start date of their employment or 6 April 2020 (whichever is later) and the day before their CJRS extension furlough periods begins
80% of wages is capped at the maximum wage amount which will be calculated in the in the way it was for CJRS before the extension

4.3 Usual hours for an employee who is contracted for a fixed number of hours and whose pay does not vary according to the number of hours they work
If an employee was not previously eligible for CJRS, then usual hours for an employee who is contracted for a fixed number of hours and whose pay does not vary according to the number of hours they work, will be the contracted hours worked in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020.

4.4 Usual hours for an employee who works variable hours
If an employee was not eligible for CJRS then the usual hours will be the average hours worked between (these dates are inclusive):

the start date of the 2020 to 2021 tax year, (for example, 6 April 2020)
the day before their CJRS extension furlough periods begins
Example

Working out usual hours for an employee not previously eligible for CJRS
Sam has been employed by A Ltd since April 2020. A Ltd was not eligible to claim a CJRS grant for Sam. Sam is paid weekly. Sam has always been contracted to work a fixed number of hours per week (30 hours), and their pay does not vary according to the number of hours they work.

For the claim period 16 November 2020 to 22 November 2020, Sam’s usual hours will be 30 hours, being the number of hours Sam was contracted for on 25 October 2020, the end of the last pay period ending before 30 October.

5. How employers can claim under the CJRS extension
The extended CJRS will operate as the previous scheme did, in several respects:

employers must report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days
employers will need to report actual hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period
for hours worked, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts
The claim period must start and end within the same calendar month. If the pay period includes days in more than one month. Each of those claims will need to be calculated separately. Claim periods cannot overlap, and employees claimed for will need to be included in each separate claim made.

An employer can make a claim in anticipation of an imminent payroll run, at the point they run their payroll or after they have run their payroll. There will be a short period when the legal terms of the scheme and system are updated. Businesses will need to claim in arrears for this period. There will be no gap in eligibility of support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS on 31 October 2020 and this extension starting 1 November 2020.

Employers will be able to claim from 8am on Wednesday 11 November 2020. Claims can be made:

in respect of an employee for a minimum 7 day claim window
in advance
in arrears for the period from 1 November 2020 to 11 November 2020, from the week commencing 9 November 2020
Claims relating to November 2020 must be made by 14 December 2020. Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month, to ensure prompt claims following the end of the month which is the subject of the claim. The closing date for claims up to and including 31 October remains 30 November 2020.

Grants payments are anticipated 6 working days after the first claims.

Agents who are authorised to do PAYE online for employers will be able to claim on their behalf.

Claims can be made from 8am Wednesday 11 November 2020.

Full guidance will include further detail on how to claim and will be published on 10 November 2020.

6. Interaction with other Coronavirus Job Schemes
The launch of the Job Support Scheme has been postponed because of national developments related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Job Retention Bonus (JRB) will not be paid in February 2021 and a retention incentive will be deployed at the appropriate time. The purpose of the JRB was to encourage employers to keep people in work until the end of January. However, as the CJRS is now being extended to 31 March 2021, the policy intent of the JRB no longer applies.

Chancellor extends the furlough scheme to 31.03.2021- Announced today-05.11.20

Today the Chancellor has announced that CJRS will be extended until the end of March 2021 for all parts of the UK. For claim periods running to 31 January 2021, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The UK Government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.

It was also confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021, as CJRS will be available at that time. An alternative retention incentive will be put in place at the appropriate time.

We are here to help clients and non-clients with this, so please call the office- 01527 433 111 or 0121 289 4433

We will be posting further updates and information here, as it becomes available.

VAT reverse charge for building and construction services-03.11.20

From 1 March 2021 the domestic VAT reverse charge must be used for most supplies of building and construction services.

The charge applies to standard and reduced-rate VAT services:

for individuals or businesses who are registered for VAT in the UK reported within the Construction Industry Scheme.

What you need to do
You’ll need to:

Check when you must use the reverse charge on your sales, purchases or both.

Find out how the charge works if you supply services.

Find out how the charge works if you buy services.

How to prepare
You’ll need to:

1-Make sure your accounting systems and software can deal with the reverse charge.
2-Consider whether the change will impact your cash flow.
3-Make sure all your staff who are responsible for VAT accounting are familiar with the reverse charge and how it will work
4-If the VAT reverse charge does not apply you should follow the normal VAT rules.

When you must use the reverse charge
You must use the reverse charge for the following services:

Constructing, altering, repairing, extending, demolishing or dismantling buildings or structures (whether permanent or not), including offshore installation services.
Constructing, altering, repairing, extending, demolishing of any works forming, or planned to form, part of the land, including (in particular) walls, roadworks, power lines, electronic communications equipment, aircraft runways, railways, inland waterways, docks and harbours, pipelines, reservoirs, water mains, wells, sewers, industrial plant and installations for purposes of land drainage, coast protection or defence.
Installing heating, lighting, air-conditioning, ventilation, power supply, drainage, sanitation, water supply or fire protection systems in any building or structure.
Internal cleaning of buildings and structures, so far as carried out in the course of their construction, alteration, repair, extension or restoration
Painting or decorating the inside or the external surfaces of any building or structure.
Services which form an integral part of, or are part of the preparation or completion of the services described above – including site clearance, earth-moving, excavation, tunneling and boring, laying of foundations, erection of scaffolding, site restoration, landscaping and the provision of roadways and other access works.
When you must not use the reverse charge
Do not use the charge for the following services, when supplied on their own:

Drilling for, or extracting, oil or natural gas
Extracting minerals (using underground or surface working) and tunneling, boring, or construction of underground works, for this purpose.
Manufacturing building or engineering components or equipment, materials, plant or machinery, or delivering any of these to site.
Manufacturing components for heating, lighting, air-conditioning, ventilation, power supply, drainage, sanitation, water supply or fire protection systems, or delivering any of these to site.
The professional work of architects or surveyors, or of building, engineering, interior or exterior decoration and landscape consultants.
Making, installing and repairing art works such as sculptures, murals and other items that are purely artistic signwriting and erecting, installing and repairing signboards and advertisements.
Installing seating, blinds and shutters.
Installing security systems, including burglar alarms, closed circuit television and public address systems.

We will be updating further information on the reverse charge and will be helping clients configure their systems to ensure they know what to do, well before the 01.03.21 deadline.

If you need help with this, please call us on 01527 433 111 or 0121 289 4433

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension-Updated 02.11.20

The UK Government recognises the continued impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the self-employed and has taken action to provide support.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

1. Who can claim
To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus.

2. What the Grant Extension covers
The extension 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 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 55% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £5,160 in total.

The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. This therefore increases the total level of the grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2020.

The Government are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November due to its extension. And then the Job Support scheme in December and January.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions.

3. How to claim
The online service for the next grant will be available from 30 November 2020. HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course. We will update the guidance on procedures here too.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme- Update from HMRC-02.11.20

In light of the increased restrictions needed to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the UK government is introducing additional economic measures to support you and your employees.

Latest changes that may impact you
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which was due to end on 31 October, will now be extended, with the UK government paying 80% of wages for the hours furloughed employees do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 for periods from 1 November.

You will need to pay all employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions. You can choose to top up your furloughed employees’ wages beyond the 80% paid by the UK government for hours not worked, but you are not required to do so.
There will be no gap in support between the previously announced end date of CJRS and this extension.

How will it work?
You will have flexibility to ask your employees to work on a part-time basis and furlough them for the rest of their usual working hours or furlough them full-time. You will have to cover their wages for any hours they work as well as all employer National Insurance and employer pension contributions.
You will be able to claim either shortly before, during or after running your payroll. There will be a short period initially when the online claims service will be closed while HMRC update their systems, and you will be able to claim in arrears for that period.

How to check if your employees are eligible
You can claim for employees who were on your PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. You must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
If employees were on your payroll on 23 September 2020 (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23 September) and were made redundant or stopped working for you afterwards, they can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them.
Neither you nor your employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.

What to do now.
• Check if your employees are eligible for the scheme, based on the information above.
• Agree working hours with your employees, so they know if they are furloughed fully or part-time during November.
• Keep the records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC need to check it. You can view, print or download copies of your previously submitted claims by logging onto your CJRS service on GOV.UK.
Job Support Scheme
The new Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on Sunday 1 November, has now been postponed.

Update from HMRC-31.10.20 -Further Covid 19 measures and extensions for support

People and businesses across the UK are being provided with additional financial support as part of the government’s plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Prime Minister announced today (31 October).

Throughout the crisis the government’s priority has been to protect lives and livelihoods. Today the Prime Minister said the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ends today. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Also, £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

To give homeowners peace of mind too, mortgage holidays will also no longer end today.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead.

I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.

Job Retention Scheme
Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, which will continue for a further month.

Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5% of total employment costs.

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

Additional guidance will be set out shortly.

Mortgage Holidays
Mortgage payment holidays will no longer end today. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

The FCA will announce further information on Monday.

Business Grants
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
Today’s announcements are only part of the government’s world-leading economic response to coronavirus – the largest package of emergency support in post-war history – to protect, create and support jobs.

The furlough scheme protected over nine million jobs across the UK, and self-employed people have received over £13 billion in support. This is in addition to billions of pounds in tax deferrals and grants for businesses.

Further information
GRANTS
Business grant policy is fully devolved. Devolved Administrations will receive Barnett consequentials which they could use to establish similar schemes.
JOB RETENTION SCHEME
This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. There will be a short period when we need to change the legal terms of the scheme and update the system and businesses will be paid in arrears for that period.
The CJRS is being extended until December. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.
As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
Further details, including how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, will be provided shortly.
The Job Support Scheme will be introduced following the end of the CJRS.
Who is eligible?
Employers
All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.
Employees
To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
*As under the current CJRS rules:
Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.
What support is being provided and employer costs:
For hours not worked by the employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions, and should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.
As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.

Job Retention Bonus-Update-24.10.20

Job Retention Bonus (JRB)
You’ll be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee you furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria. You do not have to pay this money to your employee.
You will be able to claim the bonus between 15 February and 31 March. To do this you must have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5 February 2021 on time.

Call the office or email- if you are unsure if you are eligible. We will make sure we keep you updated with any claim information- Call 01527 433 111 or 01527 433111

Job Support Scheme-24.10.20 More information will follow as we get it.

Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will open on 1 November and run for six months, until 30 April 2021. The government has said it will review the terms of the scheme in January 2021. There are two variations to JSS – JSS Open and JSS Closed.

The UK government announced yesterday it will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus.

In recognition of the challenging times ahead, the Chancellor said he would be increasing support through the existing Job Support and self-employed schemes.

JSS Open will provide support to businesses that are open where employees are working shorter hours due to reduced demand. Your employees will need to work at least 20% of their usual hours. You will continue to pay employees for the hours they work, and the UK government will pay a contribution of 61.67% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. You will pay 5% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, and can top this up further if you choose. This means employees should receive at least two thirds of their usual pay for hours not worked.

The caps are reduced according to the proportion of hours not worked. Further guidance on this will be available on GOV.UK shortly.
You will need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

JSS Closed will provide support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one of the four governments of the UK. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection-only services from their premises, and those restricted to providing food and/or drinks outdoors.
For JSS Closed, the UK government will fund two thirds of employees’ usual wages for time not worked, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month. You will not be required to contribute, but you can top up the government’s contribution if you choose to. You will still need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
You’ll be able to make your first JSS claim in arrears from 8 December, for pay periods ending and paid in November. We’ll let you know more about how to make a claim by the end of this month.

Update from HMRC-23.10.20

Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will open on 1 November and run for six months, until 30 April 2021. The government has said it will review the terms of the scheme in January 2021. There are two variations to JSS – JSS Open and JSS Closed.

The UK government announced yesterday it will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus.

In recognition of the challenging times ahead, the Chancellor said he would be increasing support through the existing Job Support and self-employed schemes.

JSS Open will provide support to businesses that are open where employees are working shorter hours due to reduced demand. Your employees will need to work at least 20% of their usual hours. You will continue to pay employees for the hours they work, and the UK government will pay a contribution of 61.67% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. You will pay 5% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, and can top this up further if you choose. This means employees should receive at least two thirds of their usual pay for hours not worked.

The caps are reduced according to the proportion of hours not worked. Further guidance on this will be available on GOV.UK shortly.
You will need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

JSS Closed will provide support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one of the four governments of the UK. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection-only services from their premises, and those restricted to providing food and/or drinks outdoors.
For JSS Closed, the UK government will fund two thirds of employees’ usual wages for time not worked, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month. You will not be required to contribute, but you can top up the government’s contribution if you choose to. You will still need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
You’ll be able to make your first JSS claim in arrears from 8 December, for pay periods ending and paid in November. We’ll let you know more about how to make a claim by the end of this month.

Your employees will be able to check if you have made a Job Support Scheme claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account. Employees can set up a Personal Tax Account on GOV.UK, by searching ‘Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up’.

Job Retention Bonus (JRB)
You’ll be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee you furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria. You do not have to pay this money to your employee.
You will be able to claim the bonus between 15 February and 31 March. To do this you must have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5 February 2021 on time.
Further information on eligibility and when you can claim can be found on GOV.UK by searching ‘Job Retention Bonus Guidance’ and further guidance on the claim process will be published by the end of January 2021.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – closes on 31 October
Please note that this scheme closes on 31 October and you will need to make any final claims on or before 30 November. You will not be able to submit or add to any claims after 30 November.
From 1 October, the UK government has paid employers 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.
You continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant yourself.
The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if your employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in October, you are entitled to claim 60% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to £937.50 (half of £1,875 cap). You must still pay your employee at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they don’t work, so for someone only working half their usual hours you’d need to pay them up to £1,250 (half of £2,500 cap), funding the remaining portion yourself. For help with calculations, search ‘Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.
You’ll also continue to pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds.
You must keep the records that support the amount of CJRS grant you have claimed in case HMRC needs to check it. You can now view, print or download copies of your previously submitted claims by logging onto your CJRS service on GOV.UK.
Claimed too much in error?
It’s important that you check each claim is accurate before submitting it, and we would also recommend checking previous claims and repaying any amount over-claimed, so you will not have to pay interest and penalties if we subsequently discover you have claimed too much.
If you have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, you must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
• 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
• 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.
If you do not do this, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest search ‘Interest rates for late and early payments’ on GOV.UK.
How to let us know if you have claimed too much
You can let us know as part of your next online claim without needing to call us. If you claimed too much but do not plan to submit further claims, you can let us know and make a repayment online through our card payment service or by bank transfer – go to ‘Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back’ on GOV.UK.
Further support
Guidance and live webinars offering you more support on changes to CJRS, JSS and JRB, and how they impact you, are available to book online – go to GOV.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’.
Our phone lines and webchat remain very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you need is on GOV.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.
Protect yourself from scams
Stay vigilant about scams which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

20.10.20

We would like to thank Ellie and her team at Ellie’s Salon in Bromsgrove for the lovely thank you card and the chocolates. We really appreciate this and the chocolates went down well in the office! Even though we are trying to keep fit and keeping at the training, it is nice to have a cheat day! (Another cheat day!)

19.10.20

Here at Brotherton’s we are always striving to deliver the very best service we can. We would like to thank everyone who has shown their appreciation, by giving us so many great reviews. It is always appreciated here and we never take such great comments for granted. Thank you from all the team here!

Ongoing Support-15.10.20

We have been working hard, here at Brothertons over the last 6 months to make sure all our client have what they need in these challenging times. Our offices here, continue with this support as me move through into the next stage of the pandemic. We encourage clients and non-clients to call us or email if they need help with anything at any time.

07th May 2020

COVID-19 – Is there VAT on COVID-19 government funding?

The government’s business support package for COVID19 includes a number of grants and rebates of  business rates etc. It must be remembered, payments of this kind are outside the scope of UK VAT. VAT does not need to be paid on them and the income does not need to be included in VAT returns. For businesses which are not registered for VAT and receive these grants, this income does not count towards the VAT registration threshold.

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employee’s coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Published 3 April 2020
From:
HM Revenue & Customs
Contents
Who can use the scheme
Records you must keep
The online service you’ll use to reclaim SSP is not available yet. HMRC will announce when the service is available and this guidance will be updated.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

If you’re an employer who pays more than the current rate of SSP you can only claim the current rate amount.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

have coronavirus
cannot work because they are self-isolating at home
Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim.

Who can use the scheme
The scheme can be used by employers if they:

are claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
had a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020
The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:

full-time employees
part-time employees
employees on agency contracts
employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

We will let you know when the scheme will end.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

Eligibility
You are eligible for the scheme if:

your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria
How to access the scheme
The scheme is now open for applications. All major banks are offering this scheme.

To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan. You can find out the latest on the best ways to contact them via their websites. Please note that branches may currently be shut down to enable social distancing.

The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 may be eligible for a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.

Eligibility
You are eligible for the grant if:

your business is based in England
your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector
your business has a rateable value of under £51,000
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
for assembly and leisure
as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
How to access the scheme
You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service

Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Eligibility
You are eligible if your business:

pays tax to the UK government
has outstanding tax liabilities
How to access the scheme
If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 024 1222.

If you’re worried about a future payment, please call us nearer the time.

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme
Use this scheme if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus.

Published 26 March 2020
From:
HM Revenue & Customs

Contents
Who can apply
How much you’ll get
How to apply
After you’ve applied
Other help you can get

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Who can apply
You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
traded in the tax year 2019-20
are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period
If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23 April 2020.

HMRC will use data on 2018-19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

How much you’ll get
You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):

2016 to 2017
2017 to 2018
2018 to 2019
To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

We’ll pay the grant directly into your bank account, in one installment.

How to apply
You cannot apply for this scheme yet.

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

After you’ve applied
Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, we will contact you to tell you how much you will get and the payment details.

If you claim tax credits you’ll need to include the grant in your claim as income.

Other help you can get
The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:

deferral of Self Assessment income tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020
grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates
increased amounts of Universal Credit
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
If you’re a director of your own company and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.

Published 26 March 2020

Claim for your employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme- updated 26th HMRC

Claim for your employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave (“furlough”) due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Published 26 March 2020
From:
HM Revenue & Customs
Contents
Who can claim
Employees you can claim for
Work out what you can claim
What you’ll need to make a claim

Claim

The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. We expect it to be available by the end of April 2020.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.

Who can claim
Any UK organisation with employees can apply, including:

businesses
charities
recruitment agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE)
public authorities

You must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 28 February 2020 and have a UK bank account.

Where a company is being taken under the management of an administrator, the administrator will be able to access the Job Retention Scheme.

Public sector organisations
The government expects that the scheme will not be used by many public sector organisations, as the majority of public sector employees are continuing to provide essential public services or contribute to the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion – and correspondingly not furlough them. This also applies to non-public sector employers who receive public funding for staff costs.

Organisations who are receiving public funding specifically to provide services necessary to respond to COVID-19 are not expected to furlough staff.

In a small number of cases, for example where organisations are not primarily funded by the government and whose staff cannot be redeployed to assist with the coronavirus response, the scheme may be appropriate for some staff.

Employees you can claim for
Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including:

full-time employees
part-time employees
employees on agency contracts
employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
The scheme also covers employees who were made redundant since 28 February 2020, if they are rehired by their employer.

To be eligible for the subsidy, when on furlough, an employee can not undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation. This includes providing services or generating revenue. While on furlough, the employee’s wage will be subject to usual income tax and other deductions.

This scheme is only for employees on agency contracts who are not working.

If an employee is working, but on reduced hours, or for reduced pay, they will not be eligible for this scheme and you will have to continue paying the employee through your payroll and pay their salary subject to the terms of the employment contract you agreed.

Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. When employers are making decisions in relation to the process, including deciding who to offer furlough to, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.

To be eligible for the subsidy employers should write to their employee confirming that they have been furloughed and keep a record of this communication.

Employees hired after 28 February 2020 cannot be furloughed or claimed for in accordance with this scheme.

You do not need to place all your employees on furlough. However, those employees who you do place on furlough cannot undertake work for you.

If your employee is on unpaid leave
Employees on unpaid leave cannot be furloughed, unless they were placed on unpaid leave after 28 February.

If your employee is on Statutory Sick Pay
Employees on sick leave or self-isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay, but can be furloughed after this.

Employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance can be placed on furlough.

If your employee has more than one job
If your employee has more than one employer they can be furloughed for each job. Each job is separate, and the cap applies to each employer individually.

If your employee does volunteer work or training
A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation.

However, if workers are required to for example, complete online training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NLW/NMW for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.

If your employee is on Maternity Leave, contractual adoption pay, paternity pay or shared parental pay
Individuals who are on or plan to take Maternity Leave must take at least 2 weeks off work (4 weeks if they work in a factory or workshop) immediately following the birth of their baby. This is a health and safety requirement. In practice, most women start their Maternity Leave before they give birth.

If your employee is eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance, the normal rules apply, and they are entitled to claim up to 39 weeks of statutory pay or allowance.

Employees who qualify for SMP, will still be eligible for 90% of their average weekly earnings in the first 6 weeks, followed by 33 weeks of pay paid at 90% of their average weekly earnings or the statutory flat rate (whichever is lower). The statutory flat rate is currently £148.68 a week, rising to £151.20 a week from April 2020.

If you offer enhanced (earnings related) contractual pay to women on Maternity Leave, this is included as wage costs that you can claim through the scheme.

The same principles apply where your employee qualifies for contractual adoption, paternity or shared parental pay.

Work out what you can claim
Employers need to make a claim for wage costs through this scheme.

You will receive a grant from HMRC to cover the lower of 80% of an employee’s regular wage or £2,500 per month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage. Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included.

At a minimum, employers must pay their employee the lower of 80% of their regular wage or £2,500 per month. An employer can also choose to top up an employee’s salary beyond this but is not obliged to under this scheme.

We will issue more guidance on how employers should calculate their claims for Employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions, before the scheme becomes live.

Full time and part time employees
For full time and part time salaried employees, the employee’s actual salary before tax, as of 28 February should be used to calculate the 80%. Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included.

Employees whose pay varies
If the employee has been employed (or engaged by an employment business) for a full twelve months prior to the claim, you can claim for the higher of either:

the same month’s earning from the previous year
average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year
If the employee has been employed for less than a year, you can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work.

If the employee only started in February 2020, use a pro-rata for their earnings so far to claim.

Once you’ve worked out how much of an employee’s salary you can claim for, you must then work out the amount of Employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions you are entitled to claim.

Employer National Insurance and Pension Contributions
All employers remain liable for associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on behalf of their furloughed employees.

You can claim a grant from HMRC to cover wages for a furloughed employee, equal to the lower of 80% of an employee’s regular salary or £2,500 per month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on paying those wages.

You can choose to provide top-up salary in addition to the grant. Employer National Insurance Contributions and automatic enrolment contribution on any additional top-up salary will not be funded through this scheme. Nor will any voluntary automatic enrolment contributions above the minimum mandatory employer contribution of 3% of income above the lower limit of qualifying earnings (which is £512 per month until 5th April and will be £520 per month from 6th April 2020 onwards).

National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage
Individuals are only entitled to the National Living Wage (NLW)/National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the hours they are working.

Therefore, furloughed workers, who are not working, must be paid the lower of 80% of their salary, or £2,500 even if, based on their usual working hours, this would be below NLW/NMW.

However, if workers are required to for example, complete online training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NLW/NMW for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.

What you’ll need to make a claim
Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. Employers may need to seek legal advice on the process. If sufficient numbers of staff are involved, it may be necessary to engage collective consultation processes to procure agreement to changes to terms of employment.

To claim, you will need:

your PAYE reference number
the number of employees being furloughed
the claim period (start and end date)
amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 weeks)
your bank account number and sort code
your contact name
your phone number
You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.

Claim
The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. We expect it to be available by the end of April 2020.

You can only submit one claim at least every 3 weeks, which is the minimum length an employee can be furloughed for. Claims can be backdated until the 1 March if applicable.

What to do after you’ve claimed
Once HMRC have received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, they will pay it via BACS payment to a UK bank account.

You should make your claim in accordance with actual payroll amounts at the point at which you run your payroll or in advance of an imminent payroll.

You must pay the employee all the grant you receive for their gross pay, no fees can be charged from the money that is granted. You can choose to top up the employee’s salary, but you do not have to.

When the government ends the scheme
When the government ends the scheme, you must make a decision, depending on your circumstances, as to whether employees can return to their duties. If not, it may be necessary to consider termination of employment (redundancy).

Employees that have been furloughed
Employees that have been furloughed have the same rights as they did previously. That includes Statutory Sick Pay entitlement, maternity rights, other parental rights, rights against unfair dismissal and to redundancy payments.

Once the scheme has been closed by the government, HMRC will continue to process remaining claims before terminating the scheme.

Income tax and Employee National Insurance
Wages of furloughed employees will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance as usual. Employees will also pay automatic enrolment contributions on qualifying earnings, unless they have chosen to opt-out or to cease saving into a workplace pension scheme.

Employers will be liable to pay Employer National Insurance contributions on wages paid, as well as automatic enrolment contributions on qualifying earnings unless an employee has opted out or has ceased saving into a workplace pension scheme.

Tax Treatment of the Coronavirus Job Retention Grant
Payments received by a business under the scheme are made to offset these deductible revenue costs. They must therefore be included as income in the business’s calculation of its taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes, in accordance with normal principles.

Businesses can deduct employment costs as normal when calculating taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Published 26 March 2020

COVID-19 Support for Businesses -HMRC update- 20.03.20

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

Eligibility
All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme
You will need to:

designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

VAT
For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Eligibility
All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Income Tax

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

Eligibility

If you are self-employed you are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

We will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

this 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 of 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
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 from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

your business is UK based
your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020

How to access the scheme

A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

Support for businesses that pay business rates

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

We will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

your business is based in England
your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
for assembly and leisure
as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

Further guidance for local authorities is available in the expanded retail discount guidance.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the grant if:

your business is based in England
your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
for assembly and leisure
as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Find your local authority.

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered releif. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility

You are eligible if:

your business is based in England
you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
you are a business that occupies property
How to access the scheme
You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Find your local authority.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch early next week to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria
How to access the scheme
The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.

You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

The scheme will be available from early next week commencing 23 March.

Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

The scheme will be available early in week beginning 23 March 2020.

We will provide information on how to access the scheme here shortly.

More information is available from the Bank of England.

Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Eligibility

You are eligible if your business:

pays tax to the UK government
has outstanding tax liabilities
How to access the scheme
If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

If you’re worried about a future payment, please call us nearer the time.

Insurance

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

COVID-19 Support for Businesses -HMRC update- 18.03.20

Here is the updated HMRC Guidance for Businesses -18.03.20

Please call the office for any help needed- 0121-289-4433 or 01527 433 111

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs

a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England

small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank

a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans

the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

We will bring forward legislation to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

this 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 of 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

employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note

eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force

the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

Support for businesses that pay business rates

We will introduce a business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

If your business is eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, you will be contacted by your local authority – you do not need to apply.

Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch next week to support primarily small and medium sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. Further details, including on the lenders providing access to this scheme will be announced in the coming days, and the scheme will be available from early week commencing 23 March 2020.

Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

To support larger firms, the Bank of England has announced a new lending facility to provide a quick and cost effective way to raise working capital via the purchase of short-term debt. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, enabling them to continue financing their short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. Further details, including on how to access this funding will follow in the coming days, and the scheme will be available from the week commencing 23 March.

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Insurance
Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

COVID-19: guidance for employee-HMRC Update -17.03.20

Please call the office if you need help or support with any issues- 0121-289-4433 or 01527 433 111

Staying at home

If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See the stay at home guidance for more information)

My employer wants me to come to work even though I feel ill, what should I do?

Employees should take time off work if they are ill. Government is clear that employers should support their staff’s welfare, especially during an extended response.

My employer wants me to come to work. How do I respond when I don’t have a sick note?

Employees should take time off work if they’re ill.

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (that is, employees can self-certify). After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. To make it easier for people to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home, we are developing an alternative form of evidence to the fit note. These will shortly be available through NHS 111 online.

In the meantime, we continue to urge employers to respect the need to stay at home where they are following government advice to do so and to show flexibility in the evidence they require from employees.

Will my boss believe that I need to be at home? Will it risk my job?

Employees should take time off work if they’re ill.

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (employees can self-certify). After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. To make it easier for people to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home, we are developing an alternative form of evidence to the fit note. These will shortly be available through NHS 111 online.

In the meantime, we continue to urge employers to respect the need to stay at home where they are following government advice to do so and to show flexibility in the evidence they require from employees.

Working from home

I can’t work from home. There’s no space and the kids get in the way. Can my employer make me work from home?

You should discuss your situation with your employer. We would expect most employers and employees to reach a sensible compromise and come to a solution that best meets both parties’ needs, bearing in mind the latest public health advice.

Sick pay

Will my employer be obliged to pay me while I stay at home?
Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by coronavirus.

What about if I have a zero hours contract?

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check with your employer if you’re unsure.

If you’re not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

What about if I’m self-employed?

You can apply for Universal Credit.

What if the whole family has to stay at home and there’s no income coming in?

If no one is getting Statutory Sick Pay, the family can apply for Universal Credit.

Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)-HMRC update-17.03.20

Please call the office if you need help or support with any issues- 0121-289-4433 or 01527 433 111

What you need to know

businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible

if someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow the advice to stay at home

employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues

frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products

employees will need your support to adhere to the recommendation to stay at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to others

those who follow advice to stay at home will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) from the first day of their absence from work

employers should use their discretion concerning the need for medical evidence for certification for employees who are unwell. This will allow GPs to focus on their patients

employees from defined vulnerable groups should be strongly advised and supported to stay at home and work from there if possible

Background

This guidance will assist employers, businesses and their staff in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19).

This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation.

It’s good practice for employers to:

keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace

ensure employees who are in a vulnerable group are strongly advised to follow social distancing guidance

make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date

make sure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace is potentially infected and needs to take the appropriate action

make sure there are places to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and encourage everyone to do so regularly

provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough or a high temperature.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.

What to do if someone develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) on site

If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

It is not necessary to close the business or workplace or send any staff home, unless government policy changes. Keep monitoring the government response page for the latest details.

Travel arrangements

Anyone who has a new, continuous cough or a high temperature should be advised to quickly and directly return home and to remain there and initiate household isolation. If they have to use public transport, they should try to keep away from other people and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue.

Sick pay

Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.

Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate in making decisions about sick pay.

Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week, some of those working in the gig economy, or self-employed people, is able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

For those on a low income and already claiming Universal Credit, it is designed to automatically adjust depending on people’s earnings or other income. However, if someone needs money urgently they can apply for an advance through the journal.

Certifying absence from work

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home.

We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.

What to do if an employee needs time off work to look after someone

Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a ‘dependant’) in an unexpected event or emergency. This would apply to situations related to coronavirus (COVID-19). For example:

if they have children they need to look after or arrange childcare for because their school has closed

to help their child or another dependant if they’re sick, or need to go into isolation or hospital

There’s no statutory right to pay for this time off, but some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or workplace policy.

ACAS have more information on coronavirus and can help with specific queries by phone.

Limiting spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in business and workplaces

Businesses and employers can help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reminding everyone of the public health advice. Posters, leaflets and other materials are available.

Employees and customers should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal.

Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products.

Cleaning and waste
See the guidance on cleaning and waste.

Handling post or packages
Staff should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of working; there are no additional precautions needed for handling post or packages.