Subject: March 2020 Payroll

The following points are relevant to the payrolls of companies for March 2020.

1. Employers should pay employees whatever pay is due for the work done by employees up to the time they had to stop work because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

2. Employers should identify names and dates of employees who have been sent home or who have not been in work because they are self-isolating and what date it started. These employees will certainly be due at the very least SSP from day one however they may be entitled to at least 80% of their income. ( See point 3 )

3. Employers who are no longer trading or who are only trading in part should identify the workers laid off temporarily because of Covid 19. These are workers who you would normally have paid except for what has happened. Once identified the workers should be contacted (see example letter) to let them know. All workers identified are described as Furloughed Workers. The letter has a few options that can be decided on by the employer. Any employee still working even if they are working at home and whether in full or in part cannot be identified and are paid as normal. 

4. The furloughed workers will be paid via the new Job Retention scheme. Under this scheme employers will be able to reclaim up to 80% of employees pay by claiming through a portal that is in the process of being set up. The revenue are hoping that this portal will be available by 1st April at the latest. Any company with a PAYE scheme can claim. There is a monthly cap of £2,500 per employee per month.

5. Some of the exact rules of the scheme are “sketchy” at this time however all should become clearer in the next week or so . They have already stated that severe penalties will be imposed on any employer who is found to be abusing the rules. In particular any new employees introduced on to a payroll or increases in pay will be looked at closely.

6. If a company does not have sufficient monies to pay employees at this time they should consider applying for loans or looking to delay payments until the scheme is fully operational.

See the example letter here: Example letter

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