Claim It – how much? – #coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

How much CJRS grant can an employer claim?

Employers can claim:

  • 80% of your employees’ wages (even for employee’s on National Minimum Wage) – up to a maximum of £2,500. Do not claim for the worker’s previous salary.
  • minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on the subsidised wage

Employers can ‘top up …salary, but… do not have to. Employees must not work or provide any services for the business while furloughed…’

‘Grants will be prorated if your employee is only furloughed for part of a pay period’…

How to work out… ‘wages is different depending on [the] type of contract…, and when they started work’

Full or part time employees on a [fixed] salary

Claim for the 80% of the employee’s salary before tax.

Employees whose pay varies

If the employee has been employed for 12 months or more… claim the highest of either the:

  • same month’s earning from the previous year
  • average monthly earnings for the 2019-2020 tax year

If… employed for less than 12 months, claim for 80% of their average monthly earnings since they started work.

If the employee only started in February 2020, work out a pro-rata for their earnings so far, and claim for 80%.

Employer National Insurance and Pension Contributions

Employers ‘still need to pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions…., and… can claim for these too’.

The employer cannot claim:

Past Overtime, Fees, Commission, Bonuses and non-cash payments

Include and ‘claim for any regular payments… This includes wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. However, discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments should be excluded.

Benefits in Kind and Salary Sacrifice Schemes

The reference salary should not include the cost of non-monetary benefits provided to employees, including taxable Benefits in Kind. Similarly, benefits provided through salary sacrifice schemes (including pension contributions) that reduce an employee’s taxable pay should also not be included in the reference salary. Where the employer provides benefits to furloughed employees, this should be in addition to the wages that must be paid under the terms of the Job Retention Scheme.

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.

Apprenticeship Levy and Student Loans

Both the Apprenticeship Levy and Student Loans should continue to be paid as usual. Grants from the Job Retention Scheme do not cover these.

PAYadvice.UK 4/4/2020 updated 16/4/2020

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