The Coronavirus Furlough Grant Claim portal went live on Monday 20 April 2020. What does that mean for your business. Well, it means that if you have furloughed staff, you can claim that much needed grant money.
We have submitted Furlough claims for all our clients, some have already received payments into their bank accounts. Money into their bank account, that makes them happy, it makes us happy, drinks all round.
Want to hear more about what that claim process is like? If so, read on and let us share our experiences of what to expect, the claim process itself and what happens after.
Let’s revisit some of the main parts of The Coronavirus Furlough Grant Claim
Main parts revisited
The Employers Furlough Grant is available to all UK employers, from 1 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
Any UK organisation with employees can apply, including businesses and charities
A wide category of employees are eligible, from full-time employees to those employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts. Company directors can be furloughed, even if your company only has one director. If you are a sole director, being paid via PAYE, you can furlough yourself. Conditions still apply, for example no work being undertaken, minimum period of time.
The main conditions, these are
- Your furloughed employees cannot do any work for your business, they can work elsewhere
- The minimum period of being furloughed is three weeks, lots of Daytime TV and gardening
- Some of your staff will have more than one job. Each job is treated separately.
- Paperwork, processes and evidence. Do not ignore this if you want to keep the money, and do not want to pay it back with penalties and interest
How much you can claim
- The lower of 80% of an employee’s regular wage or £2,500 per month
- Employer National Insurance contributions
- Minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that Furloughed Pay.
You can pay your employees more than the grant, but you can’t pay less
The Coronavirus Furlough Grant Claim is based on your regular, contractual pay, such as wages, compulsory commission and past overtime.
Employees will either have fixed or variable pay. Check out our previous blogs for an illustration for those varying situations.
Timings and Things to Note
- You cannot make more than one claim during a claim period
- Make your claim shortly before or during running your payroll. One claim per reference period. The reference period is the date your payroll is run, so your claim shortly before or during running payroll.,
- Claim for all employees in each period at one time as you cannot make changes to your claim.
- The claims can run from 1 March if applicable.
Make sure you gather all the information together. The application needs to be done in one session. There is currently no save and return option. Sessions will time out after 30 minutes of inactivity. Minimise distractions, do not do it while multi-tasking, or cat videos, that treat is for after.
Employers Furlough Grant Claim Observations
- Submit the total number of employees being furloughed, and dates. For example, some of your businesses will have weekly, monthly, or other pay frequency. Include them all on the claim form, dates tie in with your payroll run dates
- Full name and National Insurance Number for each furloughed employee. Some of your employees may not have a National Insurance number. For example, those under 15 years 9 months, and overseas workers
- Your employer PAYE scheme reference number. This is not your Collection Reference; Your PAYE reference is made up of numbers and letters
- One of the following, Your Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference, Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference or Company Registration Number.
- UK bank account details. You will also be asked for the address to which the bank account is associated, this will be where bank statements are sent
- Registered name for your business. If your business is a company, use the name at Companies House
- Amount claimed for, made up of Gross Pay, Employers NIC and Employers Pension Contribution. Take care with the NIC figures for Directors, Employers Allowance and not to exceed the minimum Employers minimum contribution.
- When you review the claim, save a copy before you submit.
Good to Know
HMRC have an online calculator to work out what you can claim per employee, so it’s one calculation at a time. The Coronavirus Furlough Grant Claim needs total figures, so make sure you make a note of each one if you are using the calculator
Payment is scheduled to be made normally six working days after making an application. Having said that, we made claims on Monday 20 April 2020, clients got paid for 20th April.
If you have an authorised agent, decide whether you want to make your own claim or if you want your agent to act on your behalf.
In our last blog we used the figures HMRC provided in their guide. We also added another example. The figures were for monthly paid staff, check out the numbers we used. Calculations need to be done using calendar days, not working days
The numbers used are for March 2020, the last month of the 2019-20 tax year. In April 2020 NIC threshold rates and pension qualifying earnings change. Sorry if your head is hurting with this, that’s what you accountant is there for, to take that pain away.
In conclusion, The Coronavirus Furlough Grant Claim itself needs to be organised. Certainly take a look at our regular blogs, and a weekly podcast ‘I Hate Numbers’ – these aren’t all about COVID 19 by the way! Subscribe to the podcast, and give it a review so that we can share that Numbers love. Connect with us on our social media channels, such as Facebook , Instagram , Twitter and You Tube , we share details as to what’s going on and do out Live broadcasts and Q&A.
Finally, if you want some help with your Coronavirus Furlough Grant Claim then contact us to see where we can help.