August 2020

People in airport are wearing masks to protect themselves from virus

During the past few months, many employers have asked employees to work from home – sometimes providing mobile phones and internet to help them.

For more information on paying expenses and providing benefits in kind, join the following live webinar. You can ask questions using the on-screen text box.

Expenses And Benefits For Employers – Phones, Internet And Homeworking

Using examples, HMRC will show you how to deal with tax and National Insurance when an employer provides a mobile phone, internet connection or homeworking expenses.

  • From 1‌‌‌ ‌September CJRS will pay 70% of usual wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.
  • Employers will still need to pay furloughed employees 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant themselves.
  • Employers will continue to have to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions from their own funds.

Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live webinar:

HMRC will provide an overview of the scheme, including flexible furloughing, examples of how to work out the amount you can claim, and the changes due in September and October.

They’ll also share information on the Job Retention Bonus, including how to check if you’re eligible.

Choose a date and time

If you haven’t been able to join the popular webinar about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, more dates have now been added. Get the latest information on:

  • who can claim
  • who you can claim for
  • how to make a claim
  • what you may be entitled to, and more.

Choose a date and time

You can ask questions during all the live webinars using the on-screen text box.

Employees returning to the UK from abroad must self-isolate, or quarantine, for 14 days unless they’re returning from a “travel corridor” country.

Countries can be added to or removed from the travel corridor list at any time, for example France, the Netherlands, Malta, Croatia and Austria have all been removed from the list in the last couple of weeks.

The guidance states that:

  • where possible, employees should work from home during their self-isolation period and should talk to you about working from home before they travel;
  • if homeworking isn’t possible, employees can agree to take paid annual leave to cover the period of self-isolation, providing they have sufficient annual leave remaining;
  • employees should talk to their employer as soon as possible to discuss options where they are out of the country when a quarantine is announced.

HMRC will write to self-employed people who they think may be eligible.

The scheme will open for claims on 17‌‌ August and HMRC will be given a date to make a claim.

You can claim any time between your allocated date and the 19‌‌ October 2020.

The eligibility criteria for the second grant is exactly the same as the first grant – so self-employed people who were eligible for the first SEISS grant will be eligible for the second grant, so long as their business has been adversely affected since 14‌‌ July 2020. 

Adversely affected typically means that your business has experienced lower income and / or higher costs because of coronavirus (COVID-19) since 14‌‌ July.

There is no minimum threshold over which a business’s income, costs or activity need to have changed by, but you need to keep appropriate records as evidence of how your business has been adversely affected.

The second taxable grant is worth 70% of average monthly trading profits, a reduction from the 80% available under the first grant. This will be paid out in a single instalment and will be based on three months’ worth of trading profits and capped at a maximum of £6,570. 

Eligible Parents

Self-employed parents whose income may have been affected if they took time out to have children will also now be able to claim if they meet the eligibility criteria. There’s more information for new parents, including an online form on GOV‌.UK

If you can apply online, this is the quickest and easiest way to claim whilst helping HMRC prioritise those that most need extra help. It takes most people less than 5 mins to claim online using their Government Gateway account.

 There are also new webinars and a short video on HMRC’s YouTube channel that you can use to ensure you know how the process works.

Once people have completed a claim, you will receive payment within 6 working days.

Employers will be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee they have previously received a grant for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and who remains continuously employed through to the end of Ja‌nu‌ar‌y 2021.

To be eligible, the employee must have received earnings in November, December and January, and must have been paid an average of at least £520 per month, and a total of at least £1,560 across the three months.

As the employer, you or your clients will be able to claim the bonus after you have filed PAYE information for Ja‌nu‌ar‌y 2021, and the bonus will be paid from Fe‌br‌ua‌ry 2021. More detailed guidance, including how employers can claim the bonus online will be available by the end of September.

What You Need To Do Now

If you intend to claim the Job Retention Bonus, you must:

  • ensure all employee records are up to date;
  • accurately report employees’ details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system;
  • make sure all of your CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and you have told us about any changes needed (for example if you’ve received too much or too little).

Reminder Of Changes To CJRS

From 1 Au‌gu‌st 2020 CJRS continue to provide grants for furloughed employees but no longer funds employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions. Employers now have to make these payments from their own resources for all employees, whether furloughed or not. HMRC guidance has been updated to reflect these changes.

Further guidance and live webinars offering more support on changes to the scheme 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’.

Please only contact HMRC if you can’t find the information you need from GOV‌.UK. This will leave their phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.

Making Sure Your Data Is Right

It’s important that you provide the data HMRC need to process your claim. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect.

National Insurance Numbers

Employers need to provide a National Insurance number (NINO) for all employees as part of their CJRS claim. The only exception is in the very limited circumstances where an employee genuinely does not have a NINO, for example if they are under 16 years old.

If you are claiming for an employee whose NINO you don’t currently know, you can check their number by searching GOV.UK for ‘Check a National Insurance Number using basic PAYE Tool’.

Claimed Too Much In Error?

If you have claimed too much for a CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

  • 90 days after receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to;
  • 90 days from when circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant;
  • 20 Oc‌to‌be‌r 2020 if you received CJRS money you’re not entitled to, or if your circumstances changed on or before 22 J‌ul‌y.

If you do not do this, you may have to pay a penalty. HMRC do understand mistakes happen, particularly in these challenging times, and will not seek out innocent errors and small mistakes for compliance action. HMRC will act, however, against anyone who deliberately sets out to defraud the system or claims money they aren’t entitled to.

How To Let Us Know About Claiming Too Much

If you have received more than you are entitled to, you can let HMRC know as part of your next online claim without needing to call them – the system will prompt you to add details on if you have received too much. For more information, search for ‘if you claim too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌.UK.

If you received too much and do not plan to submit further claims – or you have claimed less than you were entitled to – please contact us by searching ‘Contact HMRC’ on GOV‌.UK.

What You Need To Do From 1 August

From 1 Au‌gu‌st 2020 the scheme will no longer fund employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions. Employers will have to make these payments from their own resources for all employees, whether furloughed or not.

Live webinars offering more support on changes to the scheme 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’. 

Make Sure Your Data Is Right

It’s important that you or your clients provide the data HMRC need to process your claim. Payment of your grants may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect.

Claimed Too Much In Error?

If you or your client have claimed too much for a CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

90 days of receiving the CJRS money you are not entitled to

90 days of when circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant

20 Oc‌to‌be‌r 2020 if you received CJRS money you’re not entitled to, or if your circumstances changed, on or before 20 J‌ul‌y.

If you do not do this, you may have to pay a penalty.

How To Let HMRC Know About Claiming Too Much

You can let HMRC know as part of your next online claim without needing to call them – the system will prompt you to add details on if you have received too much.

If you have received too much and do not plan to submit further claims – or you have claimed less than you were entitled to – please contact HMRC by searching ‘Contact HMRC’ on GOV‌.UK.

Looking For Help To Work Out Your Claim?

Please use the online calculator to help you calculate your next claim.

You can find this and guidance on how to use it by searching ‘calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌.UK.

More than 53,000 outlets across the UK have so far signed up to the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, and is designed to boost the food and drink sector, which has been badly hit by the coronavirus downturn

Diners that eat-in will benefit from a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on food and non-alcoholic drinks, any Monday to Wednesday throughout August.

No voucher is required, and diners can take advantage of the offer as many times as they like during the month.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: ‘

‘Our Eat Out to Help Out scheme is designed to get more customers through the door – protecting jobs by giving businesses the confidence to retain and hire staff.’

Establishments are eligible to register for the scheme provided they sell food for immediate consumption on the premises, have their own dining area or share a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals, and were registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July.

Participating outlets must wait seven days from registration to make their first claim with all eligible claims being paid within five working days. Claims can be submitted weekly and businesses are encouraged to register before the 3 August to benefit for the entire month in which the scheme runs.

For each day a café or restaurant is using the scheme, they must keep records of the total number of people who have used the scheme, the total value of transactions under the scheme, and the total amount of discounts given.

To find out if a restaurant is participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme diners can use the online restaurant finder now live on gov.uk. By entering a postcode they will see a list of participating outlets within a five-mile radius.

Information on registering for Eat Out to Help Out

Get more information about the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

On redundancy, an employee is entitled to receive the greater of their contractual notice period or statutory minimum notice. Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), statutory minimum notice here is one week for each complete year of employment, up to a maximum of twelve weeks. If the employee has been employed for two continuous years or more, they’re also entitled to receive an SRP, calculated according to their age, length of service and their average “week’s pay”, up to a statutory maximum cap.

As the law previously stood, for those employees with no normal working hours, SNP and SRP could be calculated by averaging their pay over the previous twelve weeks in which remuneration was payable to them, and this might have included both furlough and non-furlough weeks (or indeed all furlough weeks).

The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week’s Pay) Regulations 2020, which came into force on 31 July 2020, have amended the ERA to provide that where a furloughed employee is made redundant, both SNP and SRP are to be calculated based on their normal pay, rather than on their reduced furlough pay. Essentially, the legislation ensures that you must treat any weeks an employee spent on furlough over the twelve-week reference period as if they were working on full pay – and for those without normal working hours, a “week’s pay” in furlough weeks is to be calculated according to their reference salary for claiming furlough pay under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), but without the CJRS cap.

Employees can still be made redundant whilst on furlough and you can use the CJRS grant towards paying for their statutory or contractual notice pay if they remain on furlough during their notice period, but you’ll then need to fund the required top-up notice pay. CJRS grants can’t be used to fund either statutory or enhanced redundancy payments.

The issue is that it was possible to calculate statutory redundancy and notice pay based on furlough pay in certain cases. The change to the law means that furloughed employees who are made redundant must now receive statutory redundancy and notice pay based on their normal wages. In essence, when doing the calculations, any reduction in the amount of wages payable to the employee as a result of their being furloughed must be disregarded.