ede40842 65db 43d0 a70f bc4f6a8aeb7b 800x380 - Deciding length of CJRS claim period

Deciding length of CJRS claim period

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) commonly known as the furlough scheme was due to come to an end on 31 October 2020 but has now been extended until 31 March 2021. Effective from 1 November 2020, employees will receive up to 80% of their salary for hours not worked. There will be a review date of the CJRS in January 2021, which may see employers taking on an increased financial contribution if the economic and health outlook of the country show signs of improvement. 

It is important that employers are aware of the rules for deciding the length of any claim period. The claim period is made up of the days that you are claiming a grant. The start date of your first claim period is the date your first employee was furloughed.

Claim periods starting on or after 1 July 2020 must start and end within the same calendar month. All claim periods starting on or after 1 July 2020 must last at least seven days. You can make a claim for less than seven days if you are claiming for the first few days or the last few days in a month.  However, you can only claim for a period of fewer than seven days if the claim period includes either the first or last day of the calendar month, and you have already claimed for the same employee for the period immediately before.

Employers should ensure they include all of the employees they want to furlough for each claim period, as they will not be able to make another claim for the same period or one that overlaps the claim period.

Employers can claim before, during or after they process payroll as long as the claim is submitted by the relevant claim deadline. Claims from 1 November 2020 must generally be submitted within 14 calendar days following the end of the previous calendar month. Payments will be made within six working days after submission of a claim.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0100
5de78d77 4050 4deb b323 c859a9531c99 800x380 - Benefit conditions – Trivial benefits

Benefit conditions – Trivial benefits

The trivial benefits in kind (BiK) exemption applies to small non-cash benefits like a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers given to employees or any other benefit in kind classed as 'trivial' that falls within the exemption.

Although the benefit is defined as ‘trivial’, employers should remember that this offers a great opportunity to give small rewards and incentives to employees. The main caveat being that the gifts are not provided as a reward for services performed or as part of the employees’ duties. However, gifts to employees on milestone events such as the birth of a child or a marriage or other gestures of goodwill would usually qualify.

The employer also benefits as the trivial benefits do not have to be included on PAYE settlement agreements or disclosed on P11D forms. There is also a matching exemption from Class 1 National Insurance contributions.

The tax exemption applies to trivial BiKs where the BiK:

  • is not cash or a cash-voucher; and
  • costs £50 or less; and
  • is not provided as part of a salary sacrifice or other contractual arrangement; and
  • is not provided in recognition of services performed by the employee as part of their employment, or in anticipation of such services.

The rules also allow directors or other office-holders of close companies and their families to benefit from an annual cap of £300. The £50 limit remains for each gift but could allow for up to £300 of non-cash benefits to be withdrawn per person per year.  The £300 cap doesn’t apply to employees. If the £50 limit is exceeded for any gift, the value of the benefit will be taxable.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 18 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0100
86575834 8622 4c55 8f0f 9942a78c7858 800x380 - Sick-pay if self-isolating

Sick-pay if self-isolating

If you are an employee, you must tell your employer as soon as possible if you are showing signs of Coronavirus or someone you live with has symptoms of the disease.

Your employer will be able to inform you if you are covered by their sick leave policy. If you are, you may be asked to furnish them with an isolation note that proves you cannot work due to Coronavirus symptoms. You can obtain an isolation note from NHS 111 online in England, NHS inform in Scotland, NHS Direct in Wales and from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

If you do not qualify for sick pay from your employer, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for every day you are in isolation. You must self-isolate for at least 4 days to be eligible.

You may be eligible for Universal Credit if you cannot get Statutory Sick Pay, for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week. You can request an advance payment of Universal Credit if you do not have enough money to live on whilst waiting for your payment.

You might also be able to:

  • apply online for the New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance 
  • apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance, if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work.
Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 17 Jun 2020 05:00:00 +0100
cdfc748b ef71 49a3 80f0 9efb0d93a1ad 800x380 - Parents returning to work after maternity/paternity leave

Parents returning to work after maternity/paternity leave

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) also known as the furlough scheme has been extended until 31 October 2020. There are a number of important changes to the way the scheme works starting from 1 July 2020, when employers can bring back furloughed employees to work part-time, for any amount of time and any shift pattern. One of the specified changes is that the final date employers could furlough staff for the first time was 10 June 2020.

However, employees who return to work from maternity and paternity leave after 10 June had not been considered. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has now confirmed that affected employees could still be furloughed in future as long as their employer has already furloughed employees under the CJRS.

This means that in most cases parents on statutory maternity and paternity leave, who return to work in the coming months after a long period of absence, will be permitted to be furloughed. This change also applies to those on adoption leave, shared parental leave and parental bereavement leave.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP said:

'When I announced these changes to the furlough scheme last month, I was clear that we wanted to do this in a fair way, that supports people back to work as the country begins to re-open following Coronavirus.

But for parents returning from leave, their circumstances has meant that they are still in need of support, and I’m pleased that they will be able to receive the financial assistance they and their family will need.'

Source: HM Treasury Wed, 17 Jun 2020 05:00:00 +0100
64713f9d 98ec 447b a807 02fa9a988ff8 800x380 - Financial support if you have Coronavirus symptoms

Financial support if you have Coronavirus symptoms

Guidance is published by the Department for Work and Pensions about support measures in place if you are employed and have Coronavirus symptoms. 

You must tell your employer as soon as possible if you are showing signs of Coronavirus. Your employer will be able to inform you if you are covered by their sick leave policy. If you are, you may be asked to furnish them with an isolation note that proves you cannot work due to Coronavirus symptoms. You can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online in England, NHS inform in Scotland, NHS Direct in Wales and from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

If you cannot get sick pay from your employer, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for every day you are in isolation. You must self isolate for at least 4 days to be eligible.

If someone in your household is showing symptoms of Coronavirus then you must stay at home. If you are able to work from home then you should do so. If this is not possible then you may be eligible for sick leave, special leave or SSP.

You may be eligible for Universal Credit if you cannot get Statutory Sick Pay and you can ask for an advance payment if you do not have enough money to live on whilst waiting for your payment. 

Source: Department for Work & Pensions Wed, 13 May 2020 05:00:00 +0100