Update on Job Retention and Self-Employed Schemes

Rishi Sunak has recently announced an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has also gone live this week. Updated details on both these schemes are below.

CJRS Update

This scheme allows employers to furlough employees and reclaim 80% of wages (up to £2,500 per month per employee) plus the associated Employer’s NIC and Pension. This scheme had previously been set to finish on 30 June 2020.

The Chancellor has now confirmed that the scheme will continue as it is now until 31 July 2020. From 1 August 2020 to 31 October 2020 an ongoing version of this scheme will continue to operate, but the terms of the scheme will change. The details of these changes are expected to be released by 31 May 2020. Initial announcements indicate that the percentage claimable under the scheme is likely to drop from August onwards. There have also been discussions of permitting a phased return to work at this time. Currently furloughed employees cannot do any work on behalf of their employers. The phased return is expected to allow workers to begin part-time working whilst still being eligible for furloughing for any normal working days they do not work.

Once this further detail is available, we will post it in this blog.

SEISS Update

This scheme allows self-employed individuals to claim a grant to cover income lost due to the outbreak. The amount claimable is three months taxable income based on the historical amounts reported on tax returns. There is currently no indication that this will be extended in the same way the CJRS has been.

The SEISS went live for first claims on 13 May 2020, and we have had reports of clients successfully making the claim. Grants from this are expected to be paid out within 6 working days of the claim.

Agents are not able to apply on behalf of their clients. The main route for making an application is through a personal tax account. Anyone without such an account can apply for one here. For those unable or unwilling to make an online claim, an alternative method of claiming is now available. Applications can be made over the phone at 0800 024 1222.

Additional HMRC support for applying under the scheme can be found here. HMRC have also released a video to help guide taxpayers through making the application, which can be found here.