From David Bailey Chartered Accountants
9 APRIL 2020 UPDATE
With Easter almost upon us and no end to the Coronavirus situation in sight, for those employers who have furloughed workers, I wanted to bring you a small sliver of hope, as we have heard from HM Revenue & Customs that the online portal for making the claims for reimbursements of the furloughed workers salaries is going to be launched on 20 April 2020. We haven’t been told how long it will take from application to obtaining the actual money but when we get any more details, you will be the first to know.
For those of you who use our payroll services, the situation is fairly simple as Barbara, our payroll manager, has been keeping detailed records of the furloughed staff and costs and we will be able to upload these details direct as your agents. However, we will require your bank account name, sort code and account number, as the claims will only be paid direct to the bank account noted, so can you please provide these details to myself or Barbara (firstname.lastname@example.org) within the next two weeks.
For those of you who process their own payrolls, please be aware that you will be asked to provide, for each furloughed employee, their national insurance number and the salary, national insurance and pension contribution information that makes up your claim.
HMRC have asked us to warn you that scammers will be targeting employers when this system is launched and please be aware the HMRC will not contact you by email, text or phone call.
I have previously mentioned the need to have signed letters from all furloughed employees agreeing to this change in their contracts. HMRC have now also suggested they will expect all employers (including director/shareholder companies) to have minuted their decision to furlough staff/directors, which staff they are furloughing and the reason for this action and this paperwork will need to be kept for 5 years in case of any check by the tax office. I am attaching a draft minute to cover this which you may wish to use as a guide and it would be a good idea if we could have a copy of the final paperwork to keep with the payroll records.
One further matter for employers we haven’t previously mentioned is that the government have said that employees should be allowed to carry forward up to 4 weeks of unused leave from their current leave year for up to 2 years as a lot of employees are having to cancel leave currently so you do need to be aware of this.