I hope you all had an enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend.
Since then, there has been some further announcements regarding both the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the Employee Job Retention Scheme (EJRS) that you may or may not be aware of, which I thought I would share with you, if only to play safe rather than assume you already know.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
1. During the application process the individual should be presented with a calculation of the grant amount.
2. There is no option to claim a reduced or increased amount.
3. If the individual disagrees with the amount shown there will be a ‘review’ link to request that HMRC should review the figure to see if it should be higher or lower.
4. The SIESS helpline number will be 0800 024 1222. This can be used for SEISS queries or with issues of not being able to make the claim through the Gateway portal. You will not be surprised to hear that you should expect delays when calling this number.
5. There is also an online webchat available as well to try to assist individuals with their queries and the application process. Again expect delays. The link is shown below:
6. I am aware that some Northern Ireland members clients have had trouble obtaining a Government Gateway ID through the eligibility checker on the grounds that the Northern Ireland Driving licence number is different to that of the rest of the UK; some clients either don’t have a passport or only have an Irish one and, on many occasions, the credit check option does not work. At present, if all of those things come to pass, I am sadly not aware of a workaround other than 4) and 5) above.
7. Most individuals will want to make a claim as soon as possible, but those who are claiming universal credit may find that they are better off delaying the claim so that the receipt falls into a later monthly assessment period.
Employee Job Retention Scheme (EJRS)
A) The EJRS has been extended to 31st October 2020 for all sectors.
B) There will be no change to the nature of the Scheme up to and including 31st July 2020.
C) From August 2020, furloughed staff will be able to return to work part-time with the employer being asked to pay a percentage towards the salary of the furloughed staff.
D) This begs a few questions:
i) Presumably the employer will pay the full salary whilst the employee is working part-time?
ii) There is an inference that the employer will pay a percentage of the pay for the actual furlough period (e.g. 20% of the 80% perhaps)?
iii) What about the employment law issues? Will furlough agreements to deal with intermittent days of working and furloughing need to be rolled out each and every time?
iv) How will payrolls cope, especially if claiming in advance of the end of the payroll reference period? HMRC are advising businesses not to adjust later EJRS claims for errors made in earlier ones. They are hoping to introduce an amendment process.
v) Will the calculations between the part-time working period and the furlough period, for claims purposes, be based upon days in the pay reference period or on actual contractual working days in that same period?
vi) If employers have to find a percentage of the furlough pay will that focus their minds more on the redundancy option?
E) More detailed information will come at the end of May.
Keep safe and sound and stay alert