February 2021

Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine

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Employers are now entitled to claim furlough scheme pay for annually paid workers who were last paid after 19 March 2020 and furloughed on or after 1 November 2020.

The new scheme will support young people to gain the skills and experience they need from the start, helping them to get a job, an apprenticeship, or to pursue further study.

The cash boost, which is available until 31 July 2021, will help businesses with the cost of providing a high-quality work placement for a trainee. This includes providing facilities, uniforms or helping with travel costs.

Businesses offering new traineeship opportunities will receive the £1,000 bonus for every trainee they take on, up to a maximum of ten trainees.

Employers can claim the cash incentive for all work placements that have been completed since 1 September.

Internet link: GOV.UK news

Pay as You Grow (PAYG) repayment flexibilities enable borrowers to tailor their repayment schedule, with the option to extend the length of their loans from six to 10 years (reducing monthly repayments by almost half), make interest-only payments for six months or pause repayments for up to six months.

his will mean that businesses can choose to make no payments on their loans until 18 months after they originally took them out.

Businesses first began to receive the loans in May 2020 and the first repayments will become due from May 2021 onwards.  This is in addition to the government covering the costs of interest for the first year of the loan.

Lenders will proactively and directly inform their customers of Pay as You Grow, and borrowers should only expect correspondence three months before their first repayments are due.

It will provide businesses with the following options:

  • extend the length of the loan from six years to 10 at the same fixed interest rate of 2.5%;
  • make interest-only payments for six months, with the option to use this up to three times throughout the loan; and
  • pause repayments entirely for up to six months. This option is available once during the term of the Bounce Back Loan.

If you haven’t submitted your claims for January, you must do so by the deadline of Monday‌‌ ‌15 February.

As a reminder, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Employers and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim if employers and employees meet the eligibility criteria.

What You Need To Do Now

  1. Check if you’re eligible and work out how much you can claim using the CJRS calculator and examples.
  2. Submit any claims for January no later than Monday‌‌ ‌15 February.
  3. Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grant claimed, in case HMRC needs to check them. ‌

Checking Your Claims For Variable Pay If You’ve Used The HMRC Calculator

The HMRC CJRS calculator on GOV‌‌‌.UK contained a software error, which has now been corrected. If you used it before 21‌‌ ‌January to work out January claims for employees that are not on a fixed salary you’ll need to re-calculate your claims if:

  • you used an employee’s pay for January 2019 as reference pay, instead of 2020, and
  • their pay was different from January 2019 to January 2020.

If you used your employee’s January 2020 pay you do not need to take any action.

If after you have made your re-calculation you find out your claim was incorrect and:

  • you have claimed too much, you should amend this in your next claim or let HMRC know as soon as possible and make a repayment online, through their card payment service or by bank transfer.
  • you claimed too little, please call the helpline to amend this by 1‌‌ ‌March.

Go to get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for more information on how to amend a claim.

Publishing Information About Employers’ Claims

In January HMRC published the list of employers who have claimed under the CJRS for periods from December onwards, on GOV‌‌.UK.

Starting from 25‌‌ ‌February, on a monthly basis, HMRC will publish the names and Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) of employers who make CJRS claims for periods starting on or after 1‌‌ ‌December, together with an indication of the value of their claims.

They will not publish the exact amount of claims, but rather the band within which claims fall; for example £0 – £10,000, £10,000 – £25,000, or £25,000 – £50,000. You can find a full list of these bands on GOV‌‌‌.UK. The details they will publish will not include information about your employees.

If you think publishing these details would result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to them or others, you can request that details of their claims are not published. More details are given in the frequently asked questions below.

Employees will also be able to check if a CJRS claim has been made on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account from 25‌‌ ‌February. If you do not already have a Personal Tax Account, you can set one up by going to GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK and search ‘Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up’.

Frequently Asked Questions About The CJRS

You can find everything you need to know about the CJRS on GOV.UK, but here are some answers to the questions you’ve been asking HMRC recently.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Fraud?

HMRC will check claims, and payments may be withheld or need to be paid back if a claim is found to be fraudulent or based on incorrect information.

You need to report fraud to HMRC if you have evidence to suggest an employer is abusing the scheme.

How Do Employers Ask HMRC Not To Publish Their Claim Details?

If publishing an employer’s claim details could leave someone at risk of violence or intimidation, you can request for these not to be published by completing the online application form.

HMRC will not publish an employer’s details until they have informed them of their decision on their application. Employers only need to apply once, as the decision will cover all CJRS claim periods starting from 1 December 2020.

Applications must be made by an employer and they can’t be made by an agent on their behalf.

Can I Claim For Employees Who Are Training?

You can claim for employees who undertake training while they are furloughed, as long as they don’t provide services to, or generate revenue for, your business or a linked or associated organisation. More information is available on GOV.UK.

Can I Furlough An Employee If They Are Unable To Work Because They Have Caring Responsibilities Or Are Classed As Clinically Extremely Vulnerable?

If an employee asks to be furloughed, you can claim for them under the CJRS if;

  • they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school or childcare closing, or
  • they are clinically extremely vulnerable, or in the highest risk group for severe illness from coronavirus according to the public health guidance for your area.

Go to check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for other circumstances where you can furlough an employee.

The decision to offer furlough rests with the employer.

How Do I Access HMRC Online Services?

To make a CJRS claim, you will need to be registered for an online account with HMRC and have your password and ID to hand. If you need to set up a new account or have lost your login details, search ‘HMRC services’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK. You’ll be sent an activation code after registering which can take up to 10 days to arrive, so please take this time into account if you plan to make a claim.