Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance and calculator further updates

21 May 2020

HMRC have published several updates to CJRS guidance and the calculator, in a bid to give employers and agents further clarity when making CJRS claims.

Calculating the furlough reclaim elements of employee’s wage has been a challenging task for most payroll teams across the UK. HMRC has continually updated guidance to this calculation process which, whilst frustrating at times, has been welcomed by the payroll industry as greater clarification is achieved.

The recently updated guide gives further guidance on how to tackle the more complicated scenarios, including those that were not paid in full prior to the 19 March and including how to proportion the amount of both NICs and Pension contributions that can be included in the furlough claim.

A clear definition together with an example have also been added to confirm that the amount claimed for NICS cannot be more than 13.8% of the grant being claimed for the employee’s wages.

The online calculator tool has also been updated. Employers are now able to use the calculator to work out claims for those employees who are paid top ups or discretionary payments within the same claim period.

Guidance on what is needed to enable a claim to be made has been updated, clarifying that the total amount claimed should include the wage, NICs and pension contribution.

As a reminder and in order to successfully make a claim, employers and agents will need:

  • To be registered for PAYE online

  • A UK bank account number and sort code for an account that will accept a BACS payment

  • The billing address for the bank account (to be found on bank statements)

  • The employer PAYE scheme reference number

  • The number of employees being furloughed

  • Each employee’s National Insurance number(NINO) (search for their number if you do not have it or contact HMRC if your employee has not been issued with a NINO)

  • Each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)

  • The start date and end date of the claim

  • The full amounts that are being claiming for including:

    • employee wages

    • employer National Insurance contributions

    • employer minimum pension contributions

  • A phone number

  • A contact name

Employers are advised that in addition, they will need;

  • Employers name (or the employer’s name if you are an agent)

  • Employers Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference

  • Employers Self-Assessment unique taxpayer reference

  • Employers company registration number

Confirmation from HMRC has also been made that any deductions that have been authorised to be taken from an employee’s salary, can be deducted from the payments made to the employee under the grants. Employers should note that this does not include salary sacrifice arrangements. Salary sacrifice arrangements are not a deduction from an employee’s pay but are, in fact, a contractual reduction. The employee has given up the right to a higher cash payment in return for a non-cash benefit in kind.

Additional information, confirming that eligibility on whom you can furlough, subject to the dates an employee was employed, has also been updated to the guidance, the aim being to provide greater consistency within the entirety of the guidance in line with the published direction.

Information provided in this news article may be subject to change. Please make note of the date of publication to ensure that you are viewing up to date information.