Coronavirus - Payroll FAQs - Wright Vigar
 In Advice, Blog, News, Payroll

1.What happens if I need to close the workplace?

Job Retention Scheme – The government will assist with covering the wages of retained employees. The scheme will pay 80% of the employee’s earnings, capped at £2,500 per month, per employee. Employees need to be notified of this change in their status. This scheme is open to all employers regardless of the size. Employers can top salaries up should they choose to. There is no upper limit to the amount of grant which can be claimed. The scheme is backdated to 1 March and is initially open for 3 months. A new online portal is being established for employers to notify HMRC of the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings. Further guidance to follow.

Lay-offs – Unless it says in the contract or is agreed otherwise, you still need to pay employees for this time. Employees not entitled to their usual pay might be entitled to a ‘statutory guarantee payment’ of up to £29 a day from their employer. The maximum an employee can get is £29 a day for 5 days in any 3-month period. Employees could apply for redundancy and claim redundancy pay if it’s been 4 weeks in a row or 6 weeks in a 13-week period. On days when a guarantee payment is not payable, employees might be able to claim jobseekers allowance.

Using holiday – Employers have the right to tell employees and workers when to take holiday if they need to. Employers must tell staff at least twice as many days before as the amount of days they need people to take.

Redundancies – If necessary, you may want to consider redundancies. For advice and to put together a redundancy plan speak to your usual payroll contact.

2. What do I do if my employee has self-isolated due to coronavirus?

Employees in self-isolation need to follow their workplace’s usual sickness reporting process. Employees can ‘self-certify’ for the first 7 days off work and should be advised to complete self-certification form SC2 from the government website. Those self-isolating for more than 7 days can get an online self-isolation note from the NHS website. Employees eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) will receive £94.25 per week from day 1, rather than day 4. If you are a small- or medium-sized business, you may be entitled to reclaim the costs of SSP for up to 2 weeks. The rebate scheme is being developed and further guidance will follow. Anyone not eligible to receive SSP, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week or self-employed people, are able to claim Universal Credit and/or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

3. What if I cannot afford to pay HM Revenue & Customs for PAYE?

All business and self-employed people struggling financially due to COVID-19, and with outstanding PAYE liabilities, may be eligible to receive support. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. HMRC have set up a dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.



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