It feels like things are slowly moving forward in the right direction however we are not naive in thinking there is still a rocky road ahead and we will be here to support you where we can.
A summary update on some of the schemes available from the government are below:
Statutory Sick Pay:
The statutory sick pay scheme is now live:
- Employers with fewer than 250 employees can now claim for coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Information on making a claim can be found on HMRC website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19
- If Atek is your PAYE agent, please contact us if you would like assistance
Which employers can use the scheme?
Employers are eligible to use the scheme if they meet all of the following criteria:
- claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
- a PAYE payroll scheme was in operation before 28 February 2020
- fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020
- eligible to receive state aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework – more information about this can be found on GOV.UK (please use the search term above).
Which employees are entitled to SSP?
- The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP, and is payable if a current or former employee was unable to work on or after 13 March 2020 and entitled to SSP, because they either:
- had or have coronavirus
- could not or cannot work because they were/are self-isolating at home
- were/are shielding in line with public health guidance.
Which records should employers keep?
Employers must keep records of SSP that they have paid and want to claim back from HMRC.
They must keep the following records for 3 years after the date they receive the payment for their claim:
- the dates the employee was off sick
- which of those dates were qualifying days
- the reason they said they were off work – if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding
- the employee’s National Insurance number.
Employers can choose how they keep records of their employees’ sickness absence. HMRC may need to see these records if there’s a dispute over payment of SSP.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The CJRS has been extended to 31 October 2020.
Currently employees can be placed on furlough, with the government funding 80% of gross salary up to a maximum of £2,500. The current scheme will continue in its current format to end of July 2020, changes to allow for more flexibility will commence from start of August 2020. The changes to the scheme have not yet been released but it is anticipated the government will expect the employer to cover part of the costs and employees will be able to return to work on a part time basis, whereas the current scheme does not allow employees to work whilst on furlough.
More details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-scheme-until-october
Small Business Grant Extension
The small business grant was extended during May to enable wider access to businesses that were not eligible with the initial criteria through the small business rates relief scheme. Small businesses who paid rates to an employer or through serviced offices should contact their local authority to review their eligibility for the £10k grant.
Please contact me if you would like more information or assistance with government support.