Displaying items by tag: coronavirus

Britain will be paying the bill for Covid for decades to come after Rishi Sunak’s Budget set the nation on track for the highest tax burden in more than 50 years to pay for total spending of £407bn on pandemic support.

The chancellor announced a further £65bn lifeline for firms and workers, extending furlough, business rate relief and VAT breaks. The £20-a-week universal credit uplift has also been extended for another six months.


But he reversed 10 years of tax-cutting Conservative policy on corporation tax by announcing a hike from 19 to 25 per cent, to be introduced in 2023. And he froze income tax personal allowance thresholds until 2026, dragging 1.3 million low-paid people into paying it as their earnings increase.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies described it as the biggest tax-raising budget since 1993, increasing the state’s net take by £29bn in 2025-26


Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/budget/rishi-sunak-budget-coronavirus-tax-b1812062.html


Published in Accounting
Wednesday, 18 November 2020 14:49

Claim tax relief for your job expenses


You might be able to claim tax relief if:

  • you use your own money for things that you must buy for your job
  • you only use these things for your work

You cannot claim tax relief if your employer either gives you:

  • all the money back
  • an alternative, for example your employer gives you a laptop but you want a different type or model

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

You must have paid tax in the year. You’ll get tax relief based on what you’ve spent and the rate at which you pay tax.

ExampleIf you spent £60 and pay tax at a rate of 20% in that year, the tax relief you can claim is £12.

For some claims, you must keep records of what you’ve spent. You must claim within 4 years of the end of the tax year that you spent the money.

If your claim is for the current tax year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will usually make any adjustments needed through your tax code.

If your claim is for previous tax years, HMRC will either make adjustments through your tax code or give you a tax refund.

Check if you can claim


  1. Overview
  2. Working from home
  3. Uniforms, work clothing and tools
  4. Vehicles you use for work
  5. Professional fees and subscriptions
  6. Travel and overnight expenses
  7. Buying other equipment





Published in Accounting

Self-employed workers will be able to claim government support worth 80% of trading profits as England prepares to enter a new lockdown, Boris Johnson has announced.

Ahead of the new national measures coming into force on Thursday, the prime minister used a House of Commons statement to warn of an "existential threat" to the NHS due to the "remorseless advance" of the second wave of coronavirus infections.


"It's now clear we must do more together," he told MPs.

From Thursday, pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops will have to close in England and people will be told to stay at home - apart from when attending school, college, university, work or go food shopping.

Live coronavirus updates from the UK and around the world

'I make no apology for trying to avoid lockdown'

In order to reflect the extension of the furlough scheme for employed workers through November, Mr Johnson announced support for the self-employed will also be boosted ahead of the new month-long lockdown.


Under the latest instalment of the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), self-employed workers will receive 80% of their average trading profits for November.

More from Boris Johnson

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  • Coronavirus: Boris Johnson accused by ex-Tory leader of 'giving in' to scientific advisers and 'marching' England back into lockdown

  • Boris Johnson: Instead of leading the UK from the front the PM has been forced to act

  • In full: Boris Johnson's statement as second lockdown for England announced

The grants will also be paid faster than previously planned, with the claims window being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.

In a Twitter post soon after the prime minister's announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "We're increasing the support to the self-employed from 40% of trading profits to 80% for November.

"SEISS is calculated over 3 months so this increases the total grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for November to January and the max grant increases to £5,160."

The government is also acting to allow more businesses to benefit from government loan schemes by extending the deadlines for applications.

What you can and can't do during second lockdown

What you can and can't do during second lockdown


The prime minister has faced backlash from within his own Conservative Party over the decision to announce a new England-wide lockdown.

Some senior Tory backbenchers have declared they will vote against the lockdown in a House of Commons vote on Wednesday ahead of the lockdown's proposed start date of Thursday.

Sir Charles Walker told Sky News that 15 Conservative MPs would rebel against the government in the vote and has warned that the country is drifting "further into an authoritarian, coercive state".

But Mr Johnson warned that, without action, the country "could see up to twice as many deaths over the winter as we saw in the first wave".

The prime minister told critics of a new lockdown that the country was facing a "medical and moral disaster".

And, in a retort to those - such as Labour - who wanted him to have acted sooner, he defended his previous opposition to a new national lockdown, with the government having pursued a system of localised restrictions since the summer.

COVID job losses

COVID job losses

What impact has COVID had on jobs


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The prime minister rejected suggestions he had been slow to act with fresh national measures, highlighting how the rate of deaths and infections are lower than they were in France before President Emmanuel Macron announced a new lockdown.

At the weekend, senior cabinet minister Michael Gove suggested England's new lockdown could be extended beyond 2 December - when it is due to end - if necessary.

But Mr Johnson stressed to the Commons that the new restrictions were "time limited" and will expire after four weeks.

The prime minister promised MPs a vote "to agree the way forward" after 2 December, with the government intending to return to its tiered system for localised restrictions.

He said the government would be announcing which tiers parts of England would be returning to in the week before the new national measures end.

He also told the Commons he would look at what further exemptions might be made to the incoming national lockdown restrictions, but warned "it is very difficult take out one part of the Jenga block without disturbing the whole package".

'PM's shown catastrophic failure of leadership'

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Mr Johnson of a "catastrophic failure of leadership and judgement" for having previously rejected the advice of government scientists, given in September, for a "circuit breaker" lockdown.

"At every stage, the prime minister has been too slow, behind the curve," he said.

"At every stage, he has pushed away challenge, ignored advice and put what he hoped would happen above what is happening."

Earlier on Monday, ministers and officials from the UK government and the devolved administrations were given a scientific briefing at a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee, chaired by Mr Gove.

Officials from the four nations of the UK also agreed to work together on a joint approach to possible restrictions over the Christmas period.

Wales is currently within its own 17-day "firebreak" lockdown, with First Minister Mark Drakeford setting out the new rules that will apply once the shutdown ends.





Published in Accounting






Published in Accounting







Published in Accounting
Friday, 16 October 2020 10:36

Claim tax relief for your job expenses

Working from home

You may be able to claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have to work at home on a regular basis, either for all or part of the week. This includes if you have to work from home because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You cannot claim tax relief if you choose to work from home.

Additional costs include things like heating, metered water bills, home contents insurance, business calls or a new broadband connection. They do not include costs that would stay the same whether you were working at home or in an office, such as mortgage interest, rent or council tax.

You may also be able to claim tax relief on equipment you’ve bought, such as a laptop, chair or mobile phone.

How much you can claim

You can either claim tax relief on:

  • £6 a week from 6 April 2020 (for previous tax years the rate is £4 a week) - you will not need to keep evidence of your extra costs
  • the exact amount of extra costs you’ve incurred above the weekly amount - you’ll need evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts

You’ll get tax relief based on the rate at which you pay tax. For example, if you pay the 20% basic rate of tax and claim tax relief on £6 a week you would get £1.20 per week in tax relief (20% of £6).



Source: https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home




Published in Accounting



The government will pay employees who cannot work 67% of their salaries, up to £2,100 a month.

Workers at businesses forced to shut due to stricter lockdown measures will have two-thirds of their salaries paid by the government.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the expansion of the Job Support Scheme, which is a successor to the furlough scheme, saying: "It will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time."


Live updates on coronavirus from UK and around world

Analysis: Expansion of Job Support Scheme is pre-empting winter of local lockdowns

Analysis: Expansion of Job Support Scheme is pre-empting winter of local lockdowns


The government will pay employees who cannot work 67% of their salaries, up to £2,100 a month.

The scheme will come into force on 1 November and run for six months before being reviewed. Employees must be off work for a minimum of seven days to be eligible.


The chancellor added: "Throughout the crisis the driving force of our economic policy has not changed.

"I have always said that we will do whatever is necessary to protect jobs and livelihoods as the situation evolves."

Cash grants to businesses which are forced to close will also be increased, with up to £3,000 per month payable every fortnight to help them with fixed costs.

It comes amid speculation that England will be carved into three different lockdown tiers next week, with millions of people facing tougher restrictions - particularly in the north - as the government tries to handle rising coronavirus cases.


The new rules are likely to see pubs, cafes and restaurants effectively shut down in the worst-hit places, similar to what has happened in Scotland, where alcohol sales are being restricted for 16 days from today.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour's shadow chancellor, said: "The fact the chancellor is having to tear up his Winter Economic Plan before the autumn is out demonstrates the chaos and incompetence at the heart of government. His delay in delivering support has caused unnecessary anxiety and job losses.

"Even at this late stage, he still has no plan to support sectors that are currently unable to operate at full capacity.

"None of this was inevitable if the chancellor had just taken his fingers out of ears and listened to the warnings from Labour and others."

Mayors from the north of England have said the action was a "start" but may not go far enough.

Are more lockdown measures inevitable?

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Mayor of North Tyne Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis and Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said in a joint statement: "We are pleased that the government has listened and recognised that any new system of restrictions must come with a substantial package of financial support.

"What has been announced by the chancellor today is a start but, on first look, it would not appear to have gone far enough to prevent genuine hardship, job losses and business failure this winter."

Confederation of British Industry director general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said: "The chancellor's more generous job support for those under strict restrictions should cushion the blow for the most affected and keep more people in work.

"But many firms, including pubs and restaurants, will still be hugely disappointed if they have to close their doors again after doing so much to keep customers and staff safe."

Coronavirus: Where the jobs have been lost

Coronavirus: Where the jobs have been lost


Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said: "Firms which aren't required to close but will still be hit by stricter local restrictions need a more generous short-time working scheme. And there needs to be extra help for self-employed people in local lockdown areas too.

"Nationally, industries like the arts, hospitality, retail and aviation face a long, tough winter. These sectors need targeted help. And we need proper investment to create good new jobs in the green tech of the future."

Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry said: "We now need to look at what comes next in terms of further evolution of support mechanisms, especially for those who will not directly benefit from today's announcement.

"They include those who have been forced to close but don't occupy premises, as well as those who are being told to stay shut regardless of location - among them bulwarks of our night-time economies and event industries.

"While support is being more closely targeted at certain kinds of businesses, we must be alert to suffering right the way down supply chains."

'Hospitality is 30% of the infection rate'

The chancellor announced a national furlough scheme in March, shortly after the country went into lockdown, in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The scheme began to wind down in August - when the ONS estimated 12% of employees were still using it.

Also among the schemes designed to shield workers from unemployment was Eat Out To Help Out - a government subsidy encouraging people to dine out in August.

However, despite its popularity, it appears to have had a smaller effect on the economy than hoped - August's GDP grew by just 2.1%, well off analysts' forecasts of 4.6% and still 9.2% below its February level.

Source: https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-rishi-sunak-reveals-targeted-furlough-scheme-for-hospitality-industry-in-covid-hotspots-12099760



Published in Accounting



Work and financial support during coronavirus

Find out what equipment, services or supplies are taxable if your employees are working from home due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Who is affected

You could be affected if any of your employees are working from home due to coronavirus (COVID-19), either because:

  • your workplace has closed
  • they are following advice to self-isolate

Who is not affected

Furloughed workers who are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Type of equipment, service or supply

Mobile phones and SIM cards (no restriction on private use)

If you provide a mobile phone and SIM card without a restriction on private use, limited to one per employee, this is non-taxable.


If your employee already pays for broadband, then no additional expenses can be claimed.

If a broadband internet connection is needed to work from home and one was not already available, then the broadband fee can be reimbursed by you and is non-taxable.

In this case, the broadband is provided for business and any private use must be limited.

Laptops, tablets, computers, and office supplies

If these are mainly used for business purposes and not significant private use, these are non-taxable.

Reimbursing expenses for office equipment your employee has bought

If your employee needs to buy home office equipment to allow them to work from home, they will need to discuss this with you in advance.

If you reimburse your employee the actual costs of the purchase, then this is non-taxable provided there is no significant private use.

If you do not reimburse your employee, then they can claim tax relief for these purchases on their tax return or P87 as long as the amount claimed is incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of their duties of employment. The occasions on which an employee would qualify to claim tax relief will be rare, as there are strict conditions to be met and eligibility will depend on the facts at the time.

Your employees will need to keep records of their purchase and claim for the exact amount. For more information on the strict tests that need to be passed in order to qualify for tax relief see the guidance on Employment Income.

Additional expenses like electricity, heating or broadband

Payment or reimbursement to your employees of up to £4 a week (£6 a week from 6 April 2020) is non-taxable for the additional household expenses incurred when your employee is working from home.

If the claim is above this amount, then your employee will need to:

  • check with you beforehand to see if you will make these payments
  • keep receipts

Employer provided loans

A salary advance or loan to help your employee at a time of hardship counts as an employment-related loan.

Loans provided with a value less than £10,000 in a tax year are non-taxable.

Further information on loans.

Temporary accommodation

If your employee needs to self-isolate but cannot do so in their own home, you can reimburse hotel expenses and subsistence costs, these are taxable.

Further information on accommodation expenses.

Employees using their own vehicle for business

You can pay approved mileage allowance payments of 45p per mile up to 10,000 miles (25p per mile thereafter) free of tax and National Insurance contributions.

If you do not pay mileage allowance, your employee can claim tax relief through their Personal Tax Account.

Further information on approved mileage allowance payments.

Significant private use

For items which are taxable, exemptions for work related benefits must show that there is no significant private use.

HMRC accepts that where:

  • your policy about private use is clearly stated to your employee and sets out the circumstances in which private use may be made (this may include making the conditions clear in employment contracts or asking employees to sign a statement acknowledging company policy on what use is allowed and any disciplinary consequences if the policy is not followed)
  • any decision of the employer not to recover the costs of private use is a commercial decision, rather than rewarding your employee

Significant private use should not be based on the time spent on different uses. It should be based on your employee’s duties and the need for them to have the equipment or services provided so they can do their job.

Record keeping

You do not have to keep detailed records of every instance of private use to prove a claim for exemption.

How to report to HMRC

Taxable expenses or benefits

Any expenses or benefits which are related to coronavirus can be reported on your PAYE Settlement Agreement.

This means you can settle tax and National Insurance contributions on any expenses or benefits, even though the responsibility would usually be on your employee, or on both you and your employee.

This applies to coronavirus related items only, for example, a new desk can go onto the PAYE Settlement Agreement, but a new sofa cannot.

If you are currently payrolling benefits in kind, you may continue to report expenses and benefits through your payroll. You may also continue to report expenses and benefits through P11D returns.

Non-taxable expenses or benefits

Do not report to HMRC.

Further information on non-taxable expenses or benefits for employees.

Taxable benefit charge - returning office equipment

Equipment provided by employer

You may have supplied employees with office equipment so they could work from home. There’s no tax charge when they return the equipment to you, so long as there’s no transfer of ownership.

If you do transfer ownership of the equipment to an employee, at any time, this will become an employee benefit. The charge will be on the market value of the equipment at the time of the transfer, minus any amount the employee may have paid towards the equipment.

Equipment reimbursed by employer

Your employee may have agreed to buy their own home office equipment for use whilst working at home and you have reimbursed the exact expense. Unless you have specified that they must transfer ownership to you, the equipment is owned by your employee.

There is no benefit charge on the reimbursement. There is also no benefit charge if you let your employee keep the equipment as it is something that they already own.

Contact HMRC

Contact HMRC if you’re an employer and need help and support on paying tax due to coronavirus.

Get help online

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

Published 26 March 2020
Last updated 12 June 2020 + show all updates

Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-expenses-are-taxable-if-your-employee-works-from-home-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19?priority-taxon=09944b84-02ba-4742-a696-9e562fc9b29d



Published in Accounting

Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims.

Check if you can claim the Job Retention Bonus from February 2021.

To use the scheme, the steps you’ll need to take are:

  1. Check if you can claim

  2. Check which employees you can put on furlough

  3. Steps to take before calculating your claim

  4. Calculate how much you should claim

  5. Claim for your employees’ wages online

  6. Report a payment in PAYE Real Time Information

If you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough.

Employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked. Only employees that you have successfully claimed a previous grant for will be eligible for more grants under the scheme.

From 1 August 2020, you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages. Find out more information on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

You can read previous versions of this guidance on The National Archives.

If you’ve already worked out how much you can claim, you can claim for wages online through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Please use the online support and do not contact HMRC unless it is absolutely necessary - any questions should be directed at your agent, representative, or our web chat service.

HMRC will check claims. Payments may be withheld or need to be paid back if a claim is found to be fraudulent or based on incorrect information. You can report suspected fraud in the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants are not classed as state aid.

Who can claim

You can now only claim if you have previously furloughed your employee before 30 June 2020 and you have submitted a claim for this by 31 July 2020. This may differ if you have an employee returning from statutory parental leave.

Maximum number of employees you can claim for

The amount you can claim for in any single claim period starting from 1 July 2020 cannot exceed the maximum number of employees you claimed for under any claim ending by 30 June 2020.

For example, an employer had previously submitted 3 separate claims between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, one for 30 employees, one for 20 employees and one for 50 employees. Then the maximum number of employees that employer could furlough in any single claim starting on or after 1 July 2020 would be 50.

In another example, an employer has 100 employees and previously submitted claims between 1 March 2020 and 30 June for all of these employees but not all at the same time. Instead of putting all 100 employees on furlough, this employer put 50 employees on furlough and rotated them every three weeks, with a maximum of 50 employees on furlough at any one time. The maximum number of employees that this employer could furlough in any single claim starting on or after 1 July 2020 would be 50, although all 100 employees are eligible for furlough.

There are some exceptions explained in this guidance for employees returning from parental leave and military reservists, where this cap may not apply.

If you receive public funding

If you have staff costs that are publicly funded (even if you’re not in the public sector), you should use that money to continue paying your staff, and not furlough your staff.

Organisations can use the scheme if they are not fully funded by public grants and they should contact their sponsor department or respective administration for further guidance.

If you’re an administrator

Where a company is being taken under the management of an administrator, the administrator can furlough and claim for employees who have been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 by their previous employer.

Administrators should only use the scheme if there is a reasonable likelihood of rehiring the workers. For example, this could be as a result of an administration and pursuit of a sale of the business.

Employees you can claim for

Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for.

Agreeing to furlough employees

Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. When employers are making decisions in relation to the process, including deciding who to offer furlough to, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.

To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed. You must:

  • make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
  • keep a written record of the agreement for 5 years
  • keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (i.e. not working)

The employee does not have to provide a written response and you do not need to place all your employees on furlough.

From 1 July 2020, you will:

  • only be able to claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
  • be able to flexibly furlough employees – this means you can bring your employees back to work for any amount of time, and any work pattern
  • still be able to claim the furlough grant for the hours your flexibly furloughed employees do not work, compared to the hours they would normally have worked in that period.

If you flexibly furlough employees, you’ll need to agree this with the employee (or reach collective agreement with a trade union) and keep a new written agreement that confirms the new furlough arrangement. You’ll need to:

  • make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
  • keep a written record of the agreement for 5 years
  • keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (i.e. not working).

You do not need to place all your employees on furlough and you can continue to fully furlough employees if you wish. Employees cannot undertake any work for you during time that you record them as being on furlough.

Flexible furlough agreements

There is no minimum furlough period, agreed flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time. Employees can enter into a flexible furlough agreement more than once.

Although flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time, unless otherwise specified the period that you claim for must be for a minimum claim period of 7 calendar days.

When your employees are on furlough

During hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, you cannot ask them to do any work for you that:

  • makes money for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation
  • provides services for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation

Your employee can:

  • take part in training
  • volunteer for another employer or organisation
  • work for another employer (if contractually allowed)

Paying employee taxes and pension contributions

Your employees will still pay the taxes they normally pay out of their wages.

You must deduct and pay to HMRC income tax and employee National Insurance contributions on the full amount that you pay the employee, including any scheme grant.

You must also pay to HMRC the employer National Insurance contributions on the full amount that you pay the employee, including any scheme grant.

You must report these payments via a Full Payment Submission to HMRC on or before the pay date.

Your employee will also still pay pension contributions (both employer and automatic contributions from the employee), unless the employee has opted out or stopped saving into their pension. Until 31 July 2020 you can continue to claim for these costs for the hours the employee is on furlough. From 1 August 2020 employers will not be able to claim for employer NICs and pension contributions.

Keeping employee rights

Employees still have the same rights at work, including:

  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • annual leave
  • maternity and other parental rights
  • rights against unfair dismissal
  • redundancy payments

You can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period, however grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments. HMRC will continue to monitor businesses after the scheme has closed.

Holiday pay

Furloughed employees continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract.

The employer and employee can agree to vary holiday entitlement as part of the furlough agreement, however almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory paid annual leave each year which they cannot go below.

Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough. If an employee is flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.

Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period. Working Time Regulations require holiday pay to be paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay or, where the rate of pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay received by the employee in the last 52 working weeks. Therefore, if a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay their usual holiday pay in accordance with the Working Time Regulations.

Employers will be obliged to pay employees who are on holiday additional amounts over the grant, though will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need and the correct notice is given. This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period.

If an employee usually works bank holidays then the employer can agree that this is included in the grant payment. If the employee usually takes the bank holiday as leave then the employer would either have to top up their usual holiday pay, or give the employee a day of holiday in lieu.

Find out more information on holiday pay during furlough.

Employees working for a different employer

If contractually allowed, your employees are permitted to work for another employer whilst you have placed them on furlough.

For any employer that takes on a new employee, the new employer should ensure they complete the starter checklist form correctly. If the employee is furloughed from another employment, they should complete Statement C.

If your employee does volunteer work

A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work during hours which you record your employee as being on furlough as long as it is for another employer or organisation.

If your employee does training

Furloughed employees can engage in training during hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.

Where training is undertaken by furloughed employees during hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, at the request of their employer, they are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate national minimum wage for this time. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of an employee’s regular wage, up to the value of £2,500, will provide sufficient monies to cover these training hours. However, where the time spent training attracts a minimum wage entitlement in excess of the furlough payment, employers will need to pay the additional wages (see National Minimum Wage Section for more details).

Furloughed employees working as union or non-union representatives or as pension trustees

During hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, employees who are union or non-union representatives may undertake duties and activities for the purpose of individual or collective representation of employees or other workers. However in doing this, they must not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation or a linked or associated organisation.

During hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, employees who are pension scheme trustees or trustee directors of a corporate trustee may undertake trustee duties in relation to the pension scheme. However, a professional, independent pension scheme trustee who has been furloughed by the independent trustee company cannot undertake trustee work that would provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of, the independent trustee company or any organisation linked or associated with that independent trustee company during hours which you record them as being on furlough.

Before you claim

You will need to work out how much you can claim through the scheme. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.

Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement.

Employers may need to seek legal advice on the process. If sufficient numbers of staff are involved, it may be necessary to engage collective consultation processes to procure agreement to changes to terms of employment.

HMRC cannot provide your employees with details of claims you make on their behalf. Please help us by keeping your employees informed, answering any questions that they might have. Please ask them not to contact HMRC.

Contacting HMRC

We are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts our essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

If you think that there have been mistakes or unreasonable delays caused by HMRC, you can use our complaints process.

Get help online

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

You can also contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.

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Published 26 March 2020
Last updated 2 October 2020 + show all updates

Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme



Published in Accounting

British employers planned 58,000 redundancies in August, taking the total to 498,000 for the first five months of the Covid crisis.

Some 966 separate employers told the government of plans to cut 20 or more jobs, compared with 214 last August, a more than fourfold increase.

However, the figures were down from the levels seen in June and July, which both saw 150,000 job cuts planned.

The figures were released to the BBC after a freedom of information request.

Employers planning 20 or more redundancies

HR1 forms submitted

(England, Scotland and Wales)
Source: Insolvency Service

The economy bounced back in the summer after the unprecedented economic downturn earlier in the year, as workers were urged to return to the office, and customers encouraged to spend more by schemes such as the Eat Out To Help Out restaurant vouchers.

However a number of big businesses from many of the hardest-hit sectors, such as retail and restaurants, announced big redundancy plans, including Debenhams, DW Sports, Marks & Spencer, Pret a Manger, currency exchange company Travelex, and WH Smith.

The 58,000 positions put at risk in August was considerably lower than previous months, but it was still more than 150% up on the previous year.

"There was a sense of optimism in August, we were starting to see more spending and more activity, there were hopes for a quick recovery," said Rebecca McDonald, senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation think tank. "That seems a lot less likely now."

Planned redundancies

Proposed dismissals submitted

(England, Scotland and Wales)
Source: Insolvency Service

A government spokesperson said: "Supporting jobs is an absolute priority, which is why we have set out our plan for jobs to protect, create and support jobs across the UK.

"We are helping employees get back to work through a £1,000 retention bonus, creating new roles for young people with our £2bn Kickstart scheme and doubling the number of frontline work coaches."

How will the end of the furlough scheme affect redundancies?

The big summer rush may have been partly caused by firms preparing to cut staff before the end of the furlough scheme on 31 October.

That scheme, where the government pays part of workers' wages when their employers cannot, has helped to reduce the number of pandemic-related redundancies. A total of 9.6 million jobs were furloughed.

But given that most redundancy processes take months to complete, firms planning significant dismissals by the end of furlough would have had to notify government in the summer.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, unveiled a new employment support scheme last month, where government will subsidise the pay of employees who are working fewer than their usual hours due to reduced demand.

Emily Piper's husband Paul had been on furlough since the end of April.

Last month his employer sent a meeting invitation. The reason was not specified, but Paul knew it could only be about one thing: compulsory redundancy. His employer - an IT firm supplying major restaurant chains - had been badly hit by the economic downturn. The Job Support Scheme didn't provide enough money for them to keep him on.

He was given the statutory minimum redundancy payment, which came to just under two months' salary. "It will get us to Christmas but it won't get us beyond Christmas," says mother-of-three Emily.

She now faces potential redundancy from her job at a local authority which has lost a third of its budget. "It's been horrendous, the not knowing what's happening. We're both in our late 30s so we've experienced hard times before, but nothing quite like this."

He is applying for jobs every day, and she's confident that as a highly qualified professional he'll find work when normal times return, if not before. But the family faces an uncertain few months, possibly having to live on £960 a month Universal Credit.

"We have scaled all our spending back to bare minimum. We are selling our car, whilst we wait for a new job for him in the knowledge that universal credit will not cover half our bills."

"My youngest can't go to nursery because we can't spare the money so we've been asking family to look after her.

"I am so scared. We have three young children and never have been out of work. I don't know how we will cope."

Presentational grey line

It is less generous than the furlough scheme, and the next few months of redundancy data will give an early indication of how successful it has been in protecting employment.

"Many employers will have difficult decisions to make in the coming months. Given the design of the new scheme it seems likely that there will be a significant number of redundancies in the winter," said Ms McDonald.

"We are concerned that it will be the lowest-paid workers in the hardest-hit sectors who will be affected the most."

Media captionOdds of redundancy "very frightening"

Employers are obliged to notify government when they plan to make 20 or more staff redundant in any single "establishment" using an HR1 Advance Notice of Redundancy form. However, they often make fewer positions redundant than the number they initially notify.

These figures pick up an increase in redundancy plans long before the Office for National Statistics' redundancy figures, which appear with a lag of several months.

ONS numbers showed 156,000 redundancies from May to July, up from 107,000 in the previous three-month period.

However, any redundancy process involving fewer than 20 people doesn't show up in these figures so the eventual total is likely to be larger than the HR1 numbers suggest.

Companies in Northern Ireland file HR1 forms with the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and they are not included in these figures.

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Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54392177


Published in Accounting
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