At the daily No 10 briefing, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that Lockdown restrictions in the UK will continue for “at least” another three weeks
Mr Raab went on to say a review had concluded relaxing the measures would risk harming public health and the economy.
The extension of the UK lockdown will have both immediate and longer-term implications for UK Employers, many of which have effectively been shut down since the lockdown was first introduced on 23 March, but also for many who were perhaps holding off furloughing employees in the hope the restrictions would be relaxed sooner.
Today’s announcement comes on the back of yesterday’s update to HMRC’s guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in which it was confirmed that the qualifying date, when the employee has to have been on the employer’s payroll, has changed from 28 February to 19 March 2020. This brings into scope a large number of people who fell outside the scheme because they had recently changed jobs. The 19 March date is just before the Chancellor announced details of the scheme, meaning it is still effective to prevent fraudulent claims (by businesses hiring ghost employees to claim furlough payments in respect of, as those ghost employees will not have been on PAYE on 19 March).
We have updated our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme FAQs
The online claim service will be launched on GOV.UK on 20 April 2020 and the only way to make a claim is online – the service should be simple to use and any support you need will be available on GOV.UK; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim.
HMRC have confirmed that Employers can make the claim themselves, even if they usually use an agent, and that claims will be paid within 6 working days.
In addition, Employers will need to have the following before 20 April 2020:
If you are an employer affected by any of the issues being created by the outbreak of Coronavirus and require further assistance and support, call us now on 0800 612 4772 or Contact us via our website.