Employment Law Update: HMRC Online Portal for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) Claims has Opened Today

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HMRC has today opened the Online Portal for employers to submit claims for cash grants of 80% of furloughed employees wages up to a maximum of £2,500.

Once a claim has been made on the portal, following a review of the claim by HMRC, a payment by BACS will be made into the employers bank account within 6 working days.

Currently, claims for cash grants under the scheme can be made for the period from 1st March 2020 to 30th June 2020. The HMRC website indicates that this period may be extended further by the Chancellor.

Employers can use a HMRC calculator to determine what can be claimed in relation to the 80% calculation of wages for those employees who are paid the same amount each month ( i.e. those paid monthly or fortnightly).

Only those elements of an employees wage which constitute regular payments the employer is obliged to make can be claimed under the scheme.

The following are included in what constitutes regular payments:

  • regular wages you pay to employees;
  • non-discretionary overtime;
  • non-discretionary fees;
  • non-discretionary commission payments;
  • piece rate payments.

Any element of a wage which is at the discretion of the employer and where there is no contractual obligation on the employer to pay cannot be included in the calculation under the scheme.

The following elements are excluded in the calculation for wages under the scheme:-

  • tips
  • discretionary bonuses
  • discretionary commission payments
  • non-cash payments
  • non-monetary benefits like benefits in kind (such as a company car) and salary sacrifice schemes (including pension contributions) that reduce an employees’ taxable pay

A link to the portal can be found on the gov.uk website.

For up-to-date advice on this rapidly evolving area of law, please contact Vina Madhavji or Jonathan Leach on 01254 301044, or complete our online contact form and one of our experts will be in touch.

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