Coronavirus Updates

Cold_FluThe situation in relation to Coronavirus is rapidly evolving and things are changing every day.  We find ourselves asking the same questions as many of you, at this time all we can do is share with you what we know when we know it.

“We have seen a significant increase to calls and emails to the office around all this uncertainty, we still have our normal workload to complete, tax end of year and a disbursed workforce due to some having to self-isolate, therefore we ask if you would kindly review the below information to take the strain off our staff resources to ensure we can meet your payroll deadlines”.

Useful Resources

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

On 31st October 2020, our Prime Minister announced an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which will be immediately available to employers in the UK.

Key Facts: –

  • All employers with UK bank account and UK PAYE scheme can claim the CJRS grant.
  • To be eligible to claim for an employee under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE RTI submission before 23:59 on the 30th October 2020.
  • The government will pay 80% of the wages up to a maximum of £2500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
  • Employers will continue to pay the employers NIC and statutory pension contributions and must pay the employees for hours worked in the normal way.
  • Employers can choose to top up the employee’s pay at their own expense.

The government will confirm shortly when a claim can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November.  But there is no gap between the end of the last scheme and the start of this extension.

You can read HMRC’s full news story in the link below: –

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced?fbclid=IwAR0rK5NR27KKdvdtX7c7iZHssLgvkd4eS7d6sKScF5MeZ6j-eXWT0RY5iKw

SSP – Statutory Sick Pay

SSP Changes

It was announced that SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) will be payable from day 1 where an employee is advised to self-isolate whether they display symptoms or not.  Employers with less than 250 employees as at 28 February 2020 will be able to reclaim 2 weeks’ SSP paid to an employee.  This became effective from the 13th March 2020.

If an employee does not qualify for SSP, then they may be able to claim Universal Credit.

Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note; Employees can now obtain an isolation note here: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/.

The Impact Of Changes On Payroll

SSP has not been reclaimable by any employer for many years now and there is no current facility to be able to reclaim any SSP payment via payroll/RTI at this time.  The government is working with employers, payroll software and other stakeholders over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

Employers should be prepared to fund the SSP payments themselves for the interim.

Most payroll software will not allow SSP to be paid from day one; a manual payment/override will have to suffice until software updates are released.

We suspect that SSP will be reclaimed by deducting the amounts paid from your future PAYE payments made to HMRC, however, until that time you must pay the full amount of PAYE due to HMRC on time.

Time to Pay

If you are having difficulty in paying your PAYE due to Coronavirus you must contact HMRC dedicated helpline to arrange a payment plan on 0800 015 9559.

You have to pay interest if you pay late.  You may avoid penalties by contacting HMRC as soon as possible.