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Statutory Sick Pay scheme

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to launch soon

The new online service is set to launch on 26 May 2020 and will allow small and medium sized employers to apply to HMRC to recover the cost of SSP relating to Coronavirus.

If we are your agent we will be able to make the claim on your behalf.

The payment will cover up to two weeks of SSP and is payable if an employee is unable to work because of the following reasons:

  • Have coronavirus; or
  • Are self isolating and unable to work from home; or
  • Are shielding because they’ve been advised that they are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus

You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 – if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus

Employers can furlough employees who have been advised to shield and are unable to work from home. Furloughed employees should not receive SSP whilst on furlough.

Further guidance can be found on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

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Self-Employed support scheme opens

The government’s world-leading scheme to support the self-employed has today opened for claims – weeks ahead of schedule.

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme opens for applications today
  • those eligible will receive government grant worth up to £7,500
  • money expected to be in bank accounts by 25 May

From 8am this morning self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits.

Millions are expected to benefit from the scheme with the payments – to be paid in a single instalment covering three months and capped at £7,500 – expected to land in bank accounts within six working days of each claim.

Everyone eligible for the SEISS, which is one of the most generous support schemes announced by any government in response to coronavirus, will be able to receive the government grant by 25 May, or within six days of a completed claim.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

We’re working ahead of time to deliver support to the self-employed and from today, applications open for the millions of people eligible for the scheme.

With payments arriving before the end of this month, self-employed across the UK will have money in their pockets to help them through these challenging times.

From today, people will be able to make their claim on a specified date between 13-18 May, based on their Unique Tax Reference number. HMRC has assigned eligible self-employed individuals a specific date to apply on and this can be checked on HMRC’s online checker.

The SEISS it part of a comprehensive package of support for self-employed people, including Bounce Back loans, income tax deferrals, rental support, increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays and the various business support schemes the government has introduced to protect businesses during this time.     Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) said:

For the self-employed, Coronavirus is not only a health crisis, but also a pressing income crisis. It is therefore very welcome that the Government has managed to get this new scheme in place ahead of schedule, and that a section of the freelance community can now get the help they need early. We are delighted that the government has heeded much of IPSE’s advice by setting up the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which extends a much-needed lifeline to those self-employed people who are eligible for it.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

The self-employment income support scheme represents a lifeline for the millions of self-employed people who are expected to qualify. I would encourage all those who think they are eligible to use the online checker if they’ve not done so yet, and to apply on the date allocated.

We are particularly pleased to see the scheme opening earlier than scheduled, with a simple fast-track application and a promise for speedy payment. Getting the system designed and built ahead of schedule is impressive. Just like the Job Retention Scheme portal we hope it will cope with the high expected demand. I would like to pay tribute to the staff of HMRC for the behind the scenes work to get this scheme off the ground.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders said:

The self-employed account for 40% of the construction workforce so the government’s decision to bring forward the payment to the end May will be very welcome news for the many independent tradespeople who operate in construction. The government’s support package to date has been targeted at businesses so the self-employed will be welcoming this cash boost at a time when they need it most.

Further information

Individuals are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue trading, and they:

  • earn at least half of their income through self-employment
  • have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
  • traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year

HMRC calculate the amount to be paid to each eligible claimant based on an average of the tax returns for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Check if you are eligible for the scheme here.

Customers have been invited to claim their SEISS grant on a specified date, from 13 – 18 May. They won’t be able to apply before their claim date but can make a claim after that day.

People can check their date using HMRC’s online checker at any time.
https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

For further information, please read HMRC’s guidance or speak to your tax agent. If you need further support, please use HMRC’s webchat service or call the Covid-19 Helpline on 0800 024 1222.

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COVID 19 update: Job retention scheme extended

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today confirmed that the scheme will be extended for four months to the end October. 

The grant will continue to cover 80% of furloughed employees usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month,

In an update to the current scheme, furloughed employees will be able to be brought back part time. More details will be published before the end of the month.

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Self Employed

COVID 19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme

HMRC’s online eligibility checker is now available. You can check your eligibility and obtain a date on which you can apply for the grant.

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

If the tool kit states you are eligible, you will need to have a Government Gateway account.  If you do not already have one, you will need to set one up now. 

HMRC will also be contacting individuals that they think may be entitled to claim for the grant from the week beginning 4 May. 

Unfortunately, we are not able to make the grant claim, but we can assist with the eligibility checker and any queries you may have.

Applications will be open on a staged basis from 13 May.

As you are aware the government have announced they will pay a taxable grant to eligible self-employed individuals, which will run for a minimum of three months.  Many of you will be interested to know how you can claim for this – the details are below. 

How to claim

  • You will need your Unique Tax Reference and National Insurance number ready.
  • If the tool kit states you are eligible, you will need to have a Government Gateway account.  If you do not already have one, you will need to set one up now. 
  • If the tool kit states you are not eligible, you can ask HMRC to review this decision if you think it is wrong.  
  • Unfortunately, as your agent, we cannot set up a Government Gateway account or make the grant claim for you, but we are here to help.
  • From updated guidance issued on 4th May 2020, HMRC will be contacting individuals they deem eligible by 13 May 2020. We would therefore recommend you use the tool kit to check eligibility and set up a Government Gateway account as soon as possible.
  • The grant will be paid straight into your bank account.
  • Payments will be backdated to March and paid in a lump sum in June.

Should you wish to look further into the scheme here is the link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

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holiday calendar

Government Furlough Scheme Now Open…

You can now apply for furlough through the Government’s Coronavirus Retention Scheme at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

To make a claim, you will need:

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK bank account number and sort code
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amount you’re claiming for including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You also need to provide either:

  • your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent)
  • your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
  • your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
  • your company registration number
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Update – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Eligibility date has been extended to 19 March 2020. Employers can claim for employees on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 where an RTI submission was made on or before 19 March 2020.
  • The scheme was initially for three months but has now been extended to the end of June.
  • Online claim service will be launched on GOV.UK on 20‌‌ April 2020.
  • HMRC have said that claims will be paid within 6 working days.
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Our top 5 Furlough FAQ’s

How do you apply for the Job retentions scheme?

HMRC are launching their online portal on 20 April 2020.

You will need to be enrolled for PAYE online – this can take up to 10 days, if you are not already enrolled.

Agents that are authorised to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters, will be able to claim. This means that we can make the claim for you if we are your payroll agent.

Is the claim a loan or a grant?

This is a grant which employers do not need to pay back.

Can you furlough a sole director?

Yes, however a director must stay on to perform their statutory duties but may be furloughed in respect of their normal employment duties. They cannot start working to generate revenue but can handle on-going administration such as bookkeeping, tax filings and banking. These kinds of duties can be performed by a director in their statutory capacity.

Can employees go on and off furlough?

Employees must be furloughed for at least three weeks, so, employees can be moved in and out of furlough on a three week or longer basis. 

Does annual leave accrue whilst an employee is on furlough?

HMRC’s guidance does not expressly state that holiday is accrued. It does confirm that “Employees that have been furloughed have the same rights as they did previously” We have therefore received guidance that this indicates that furloughed employees will continue to accrue holiday.

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