Furlough Scheme ends today!

Coronavirus, Payroll,

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, or Furlough Scheme, has without doubt saved many businesses over the last 18 months, and prevented an immeasurable surge in unemployment. We’ve talked several times before about the scheme closing on the 30th September, so this is just a reminder, and a couple of key dates too!

What are the key dates to note?

Claims for September must be submitted by 14th October 2021. For claims for September, as in August, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers need to contribute 20% so furloughed staff receive 80% of their usual wages. Check how to make your claim here.

Any amendments to claims made previously must be made by 28 October 2021.

What if you still have people on Furlough?

As far as we are aware, all of our clients have now resolved all of their furlough decisions, but if you haven’t, you need to work quickly! You must decide to either:

  1. Bring your employees back to work on their agreed terms and conditions.
  2. Terminate their employment, taking into account the normal redundancy rules apply to furloughed employees.
  3. Agree with them any changes to terms and conditions of their employment, taking into account the usual rules for contractual changes.

If you haven’t yet made these decisions we would strongly advise you to speak to your HR advisor as a matter of urgency.

What about your records?

HMRC has a £100m taxpayer protection taskforce with a team of 1,250 tax investigators following a recruitment drive launched in March. They are expected to carry out around 30,000 checks on coronavirus support schemes, with the aim of recovering over £1bn worth of fraudulent or mistakenly claimed furlough money over the next two years.

Forgive me sounding like a record on repeat, but there is a really good chance that you will be asked to provide evidence for the claims you have made under the Furlough scheme. It’s vital that you are able to do so! Please make sure that you have clear records that justify what you have claimed and why when HMRC asks.

Though we know that life is busy, it could also be a really good idea to double check the claims you’ve made. It’s always better to declare an error to HMRC than to have them find one when they are double checking your records later. The penalties and interest invoked are usually much lower.

 

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