IMPORTANT! New key dates for the furlough scheme and self-employed scheme (last updated 8 June 2020)
On 29 May the Chancellor announced changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS, also known as the furlough scheme) and also announced a second round for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The purpose of this article is to draw your attention to two key dates, one for each scheme.
CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME
Changes to the CJRS were announced including the option to have furloughed staff come back to work part-time from 1 July and still be funded for their non-working hours. The initial announcement appeared to indicate that for this to be possible the staff members concerned must be on furlough from 10 June to 30 June but it has now been clarified that this cut-off is for new entrants only; any employee who has been furloughed for a full 3 week period at any point up to 30 June will be eligible for the new furlough scheme starting on 1 July.
To qualify for this flexible furloughing therefore an employee must have been placed on furlough no later than 10 June and must have been on unbroken furlough for a minimum of 3 weeks from that date (which could have been at any point from the start of the scheme). If they have already accrued a qualifying 3 week period then there is no need for them to still be on furlough between now and 30 June.
If any employees have not yet been furloughed but an employer intends to furlough them at any point between now and 31 October they must be on furlough by 10 June or no funding will be available for that employee for the remainder of the scheme.
By way of illustration:
- an employee furloughed from the start of the scheme on 20 March until 30 June will qualify for furlough from 1 July, including flexible furloughing
- an employee furloughed on 20 March but who went back to work on 1 June will also qualify
- an employee furloughed for the first time on 1 June and who goes back to work on 25 June will qualify
- an employee furloughed for the first time on 10 June and who remains on furlough through to 30 June will qualify
- an employee furloughed before 10 June but for less than 3 complete weeks in one continuous period will not qualify
- an employee furloughed at any point after 10 June will not qualify
The scheme has been extended until 31 October with some phased changes along the way. Full details are to be released in the middle of June and we will provide a full update once we have seen them.
One additional detail that has emerged in the meantime is that the maximum number of employees that an employer can include on a claim from 1 July will be equal to the maximum number included on any single claim up to 30 June. So for example if an employer has been rotating 6 staff on and off furlough but the highest number included on a single claim to 30 June was 4 then the maximum number on future claims will be capped at 4.
SELF-EMPLOYED INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME
The announcement of a second round for the SEISS was a welcome one, and it appears that the qualifying rules and method of claim will be the same as for round 1, which opened on 13 May. The second round should open for claims in early August.
In order to create a clear break between the 2 phases and so that the same system can be used for making claims HMRC have now stated that claims for round 1 must be made by 13 July.
Therefore if you have not yet claimed round 1 of your SEISS entitlement please ensure that you do so by 13 July 2020 or the grant will be lost.
We will provide an update on round 2 nearer the time. As noted above the conditions at present appear to be identical to round 1, save that the funding will be at a lower level, being 70% of the 3 year average profits rather than 80%, with the cap at £6,570 instead of £7,500.