Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) further guidance and webinar

HMRC have updated their website in relation to Furlough (Job Retention Scheme), the key changes are:

1. You can furlough a member of staff who is on sick leave, as long as it is for business reasons. You then take them off SSP and claim Furlough instead.

2. You may furlough employees on long term sick leave or who are shielded individuals. Again take these off SSP and claim furlough instead.

3. If an employee is off sick and you furlough them instead then you must pay them at least the SSP rate.

4. IR35 companies in the public sector. The contracting company can be furloughed and will only be paid 80% (capped at £2,500) of their usual pay. The paying company will deduct PAYE and NI as usual and can claim against the furlough scheme as if an employee.

5. A TUPE of payroll or change of ownership after the 28 Feb 2020 can furlough their employees as normal.

6. Gross salary for furlough should not include BIK or salary sacrifice. These benefits (including salary sacrifice) should be in addition to the wages paid under the furlough scheme.

7. Normally, an employee cannot switch freely out of a salary sacrifice scheme unless there is a life event. HMRC agrees that COVID-19 counts as a life event that could warrant changes to salary sacrifice arrangements, if the relevant employment contract is updated accordingly.

8. Agents can make the claim using the agent’s government gateway, as long as authority is in place.

9. Once furloughed you cannot ask your employee to do any work that:
a. makes money for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation
b. provides services for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation

All information is taken from:

HMRC email issued to employers regarding the CJRS (and webinar)

HMRC this week issued an email to employers to allow them to plan for the CJRS and also put together a useful webinar to assist. A copy of the email is replicated below for anyone who hasn’t seen the contents:

Dear customer,

We want to help you get ready to make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

If you’re eligible for the scheme, there are things that you can do now to be ready when the system is up and running later this month.

You’ll need to provide the following to make a claim:

1. The bank account number and sort code you’d like us to use when we pay your claim.

2. The name and phone number of the person in your business for us to call with any questions.

3. Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).

4. The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.

5. The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf, so please speak to them now.

However, if you use a file-only agent (files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you in other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim for you and you’ll need the information listed above from them to make the claim yourself.

For more detailed advice, please visit GOV.UK. This guidance is being regularly updated, so please review it frequently.

You may also find this recorded webinar helpful, ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme‘, available on HMRC’s YouTube channel.

We’ll email you again in the next few days with more details on how and when to access the online system – please do not try to do this until we let you know it is available.

We wish you all the best at this challenging time,
HMRC Customer Services

We’re here to help

With all the legislative changes and updates over recent days in these ever changing and uncertain times, our teams are briefed and here to help you and your business.

Whilst our physical offices are closed following the ‘lock down’ advice, the team at NR Barton are working remotely from home. If you have any questions you should not hesitate to contact your engagement partner or manager who will be happy to assist; our contact details can be found here.

For anyone unsure of who to contact, we are still answering phones (01942 242245) and we are answering emails to

We’re here to help.

All the best

The NR Barton team

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