Job Retention Scheme For SMEs – Updated 12th May 2020

With the Coronavirus pandemic, there’s so much information floating around, so I wanted to summarise it in one HR Update that we call Job Retention Scheme for SMEs. Having had time to review what the Chancellor said last night and think about the implications of what the HRMC have now sent through, I’ll spend the rest of this Job Retention Scheme for SMEs Update clarifying what you need to do and what you are entitled to, including some advice on deferring VAT and income tax and a great Continuity Planning Webinar.

I will be writing a separate post soon to provide ideas for those that will have children at home from Monday. If you are also working from home, I’ll be diving into how to look at structuring your day, so you don’t go mad!

Please take a look at my other recent blogs on the subject as they have more information in addition to the Job Retention Scheme for SMEs Update summary below.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for SMEs

This has been extended until the end of October 2020
There will be no change to the 80% or £2500 amount until the end of July – at which point there will be more flexibility for bringing employees back part-time along with furlough – more details to follow but expected by the end of May.

This is only available for businesses that would either have to make staff redundant or lay them off (If you have that clause in your Contract)

What You Need to do:

If you have a Short Term and Lay Off clause in the Contract:

  • If you have staff that you don’t have any work for but have the Lay off and Short Time working in their contracts, we need to follow the standard employment law rules and give them notice of 1 week to reduce their salaries by 20%. This will be back-paid until the 1st of March 2020.
  • I know that some clients we have already done this, but if they are still working, you cannot claim the money from what I can see.
  • If you have staff still working but don’t’ have enough work you can put them on short term working but happy to have a chat on how best to do this.
  • If you are doing this, then let us know, and we can help prep the letters for you and make sure you are keeping your business safe too.

If you DON’T have the Lay off and short term working in your Contract:

  • You need to have a discussion with your staff and ask them if you have no work form them if they are happy to be laid off in the short term and you can claim the 80% back.  You might need to pay the 20% if someone doesn’t agree however in this situation I think most will be happy with retaining their 80% rather than nothing or going onto universal credit.
  • You would then need to write to them to confirm this again let us know, and we can help support this.


Who Can Claim?

You must have:

  • created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020 – this has changed from the 28th Feb – you must ensure that your RTI is updated with any new starters no later than the 19th March 2020
  • enrolled for PAYE online
  • a UK bank account

Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.

What You’ll Need to Make a Claim

Before making a claim for the Job Retention Scheme for SMEs, employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. Employers may need to seek legal advice on the process. If sufficient numbers of staff are involved, it may be necessary to engage collective consultation processes to procure agreement to changes to terms of employment.

To claim, you will need:

  • your employer PAYE reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • National Insurance Numbers for the furloughed employees
  • Names of the furloughed employees
  • Payroll/employee number for the furloughed employees (optional)
  • your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference or Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference or Company Registration Number
  • the claim period (start and end date)
  • amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
  • your bank account number and sort code
  • your contact name
  • your phone number

Please click on the links below to find out other benefits you are entitled to:

Deferring VAT and Income Tax

**In order to take advantage of this you need to cancel your Direct Debits but ensure you still process reporting as normal**

Continuity Planning Webinar

In addition to my Job Retention Scheme for SMEs Update – here is a great piece of information. If you haven’t already seen or then please it is worth a watch you might pick up some ideas so why not grab a cup of coffee and download this free webinar that I held with the ladies at All-Star Marketing Club on Continuity Planning, and see how it might help you?

Get access to the FREE Video NOW

What We Still Don’t Know

Support for those that rent – apart from that those that do rent cannot be evicted that is all we know at the moment.

How Kate Underwood HR Can Help You Today

If you are worried, have questions about the Job Retention Scheme for SMEs or just want to have a plan B, then please do get in touch.

Our office is now working remotely so that we can ensure we are here when you need us.

Click here Book a call for when it suits you

Stay safe and healthy out there!



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