Furloughing Employees - an update
Finally some good news amongst all the gloom. The government announced last month that they would pay up to 80% of salaries for businesses as an incentive to stop them laying off staff. The staff must not undertake any work by the employer. There were two major issues with this. One was that the portal to report information to HMRC and make a claim had not been set up. The second issue was that HMRC had said they expected the payments to begin in June initially, which is far too long for struggling businesses.
The good news is that the portal is set up. HMRC have tested it under stresses of 450k users logging in. I suspect that this will lead to some temporary downtime on Monday as businesses rush to get online, but this will settle down after a day or two. HMRC have also said that they should be able to start making payments to companies in time for their end of April payroll, which is great news.
HMRC may have e-mailed or written to you today if you are an employer. if that's the case and we prepare your payroll, you need take no further action, we'll be in touch and take care of everything. We are aiming to look after our existing payroll clients free of charge for the furlough side of things, but we do need to see what is involved, and I suspect we can't do that until Monday at the earliest, after which we'll be able to confirm it will be for free or what the cost is.
If you prepare your own payroll, but you need help or advice, please get in touch. Our rates are very competitive and initial consultations are always free of charge.
Stay safe and I'll update you as soon as I know more