UK: New Announcements relating to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

UK: New Announcements relating to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC have issued new updates regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Following its launch on 20th April 2020, over 300,000 employers have already made claims through the CJRS service. In this article we outline some of the most recent announcements and updates from HMRC:

Online Calculator Tool

One change announced was an update to the online calculator tool, which could only be used in relation to employees paid fixed amounts each pay period when it was issued. New functionality has now been added so that it can also provide calculations for employees who are paid variable amounts. This will assist claimants with checking their calculations prior to submitting their claims.

Employers having difficulty accessing the service

HMRC have confirmed that a number of employers had difficulty accessing the online service because they did not have an active PAYE enrolment. To make a claim directly, employers need to:

  • have a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if a customer does not already have a GG account, they can apply here, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'HMRC services: sign in or register'
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if a customer isn’t registered yet they can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'PAYE Online for employers'

Support Finder Tool

A new ‘support finder’ tool has been launched online, which will assist businesses and self-employed people within the UK to swiftly establish what financial support is available to them during the COVID-19 crisis.

The support finder provides a simple questionnaire which will take business owners less than a minute to complete, and will direct them to the government financial support measure(s) that they may be eligible for, and that are most appropriate to their circumstances and needs.

Recap on the Government’s Measures

The government has announced a large range of measures, implemented to support businesses, workers and the self-employed through the coronavirus outbreak, these include the following:

  • £330 billion of loans and guarantees for businesses
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which will pay 80% of the wages of furloughed workers, up to a monthly cap of £2,500
  • The deferral of the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June
  • £20 billion in tax relief and cash grants to help businesses with cash flow
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for SMEs and larger businesses
  • Covering the cost of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), for up to two weeks’ worth of coronavirus-related absence for eligible employees for businesses with less than 250 staff
  • Business rates temporarily removed from all eligible properties in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
  • The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), offering a taxable grant of 80% of trading profits up to a monthly cap of £2,500