COVID-19 Update 31/05/2020

We hope that you and your families have enjoyed the recent weather we have been afforded over the half term break.  As the break concludes we know for some this will be a busy weekend following the government’s announcement on 28th May that schools will offer partial reopening from tomorrow for some year groups. We are sorry to ask that in-between the frantic uniform preparations we draw your attention to the following important updates surrounding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the newly launched Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

If your nanny has not been absent due to sickness, shielding, self isolating or the symptoms of coronavirus please feel free to ignore the information regarding the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme as you will not be able to claim.

If you have not furloughed any employees and have no plans to furlough any employees please feel free to ignore the information regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as these changes will not affect you.

Changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor announced on Friday 29th May 2020 some major changes to the furlough scheme. 

These changes can be found in full linked here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-self-employment-support-scheme-and-confirms-furlough-next-steps 

We hope the following more concise summary will help you absorb the information more quickly:

  1. The latest date that you will be able to furlough an employee for the first time is 10th June 2020. Furlough cannot start any later than that date if you wish to access funds from the scheme.
  2. For those clients that have already furloughed staff or started to furlough from 10th June (or before) the scheme will continue to fund 80% of wages up to £2500 per month as well as the NIC and pension elements until the end of July.
  3. From August the government are removing the ability to claim for the employer NIC and employer pension contributions. These will become your cost.
  4. From September whilst your employee must be paid no less than 80% (or £2500) of their wage the government will only fund 70% of the wage up to a cap of £2187.50.
  5. From October (the last month the scheme will be operating) whilst your employee must be paid no less than 80% (or £2500) of their wage the government will only fund 60% of the wage up to a cap of £1875.

Flexible Furloughing

In an effort to help employees back to work and employers with their staffing needs, from 1st July employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked.

This allows the employee to stay on at least 80% of their wage but to work part time (and paid for those hours by the employer) removing some of the burden to the state and hopefully being able to start helping your household again. 

To be eligible for the grant, employers must agree with their employee any new flexible furloughing arrangement and confirm that agreement in writing.  We will provide a template letter from our legal team for you to use in our next e-shot.

How to claim for flexible furloughing has not yet been announced but we should receive more details on 12th June. We understand that employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period when making a claim for the furlough grant.  Once we know more we will of course provide you with the tools you need to make your claim.  Relax, we’ve got this!

A handy summary of the above information can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888764/Factsheet_for_SEISS_and_CJRS_schemes.pdf 

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The long awaited Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme originally announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak at the Budget officially opened for applications this week.

The scheme allows you to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus related SSP, and is worth nearly £200 per employee.

Full details of the update can be found linked here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19 

Even if you kept your employee on full pay whilst sick this grant is available to you which based on two weeks sick is valued at between £188.50 and £191.70. We expect the claim to take roughly 10 minutes and we have linked to our normal screen by screen guidance at the end of this message.

Employer Eligibility

Unlike the furlough scheme you must have had a PAYE scheme created and started on or before 28th February to access these funds.  This is earlier than the 19th March deadline for the furlough claim and we interpret this as you having to have employed, paid and declared the pay via RTI for an employee in February to claim funds.

This may exclude a number of our newer employers however we do still expect a very large number of our clients to have had to pay coronavirus related SSP to an employee over the last few months and thus be entitled to make the claim.

Employee Eligibility

The repayment will cover up to two weeks Statutory Sick Pay starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they:

  • have coronavirus symptoms
  • are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • are self-isolating because they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
  • are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks

You can claim from the first qualifying day your employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 - if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 - if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus
  • 28 May 2020 - if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus

How to Claim

Please follow this link to our step by step guidance.  You will need your government gateway ID and password from your furlough claim.

Should you have not made a furlough claim you will need to create a PAYE online account to make this claim.  Please start by following Step 1 and Step 2 of our furlough claim guidance then start your CSSPRS claim.