Accountancy firm, Thorne Widgery, is calling on businesses to take advantage of an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) eligibility date for employees until 19 March.
Initially, businesses were told that individuals had to be employed on 28 February to benefit from the CJRS, which promises to cover 80 per cent of a furloughed worker’s wage, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
This meant that around 200,000 people across the UK who had started new jobs or who had been ineligible for other reasons, faced being unable to benefit from the CJRS, explained Daniel Crowther, CEO at Thorne Widgery.
“We are excited to hear that the Government has listened to workers and businesses and decided to extend the eligibility date until 19 March,” said Daniel.
“It means that employers can now claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March, as long as the employee was identified to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) through an RTI submission – part of the regular payroll process – showing payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.”
Thorne Widgery believes that this will allow businesses in and around Hereford and Ludlow to rehire and furlough employees that otherwise would have been ineligible and may have had to seek new employment or rely on the benefits system.
Daniel explained that a furloughed worker must have been an employee that would have otherwise been made (or were made) redundant and reiterated that workers must not conduct any work or generate any revenue for the business while furloughed.
“The guidance on the CJRS is becoming clearer day by day and we now know that businesses will be able to start applying for this vital funding via HMRC’s portal from 20 April,” said Daniel.
“It is important that businesses act now to identify those they wish to furlough and communicate this change to them so that they can begin the application process as soon as possible.
“Hopefully, if the scheme works as intended, once this temporary lockdown comes to an end, businesses will be able to start the process of rebuilding and recovery.”
However, Daniel added that the new date set by the Government gave a very definite cut off to when people who were made redundant or stopped working for a business could be rehired and furloughed.
Daniel added: “The timing of this cut off is linked to the announcement of the CJRS, at which point eligibility for the scheme wasn’t clear cut.
“As the scheme is intended to retain jobs that would have otherwise been lost there has to be a cut off point and unfortunately, some employees will still fall on the wrong side of this date.”
Thorne Widgery is supporting businesses in a number of ways during this pandemic, to find out how please visit www.thornewidgery.co.uk.