A full-time working employee is entitled to a statutory minimum of 28 days holiday each year. Ordinarily the legislation splits this entitlement to statutory holiday into 20 days and 8 days, and there are some differences in the rules that apply:
Where it has not been reasonably practicable for the worker to take some or all of the 4 weeks’ holiday due to the effects of coronavirus, the untaken amount may be carried forward into the following 2 leave years. In considering whether it is reasonably practicable for an employee to take their leave employers must consider:
When employers agree with an employee to carry leave forward due to the coronavirus, they will continue to accrue holiday in the next leave year. As such, they will have 2 entitlements, the carried forward holiday and their entitlement for the new leave year.
When an employee with multiple entitlements takes holiday, it would generally be best practice to allow the employee to take holiday from the entitlement that expires first. In practice, this means they should take the carry forward holiday first as this lasts for 2 years. When taking carried forward holiday employers must still ensure that the worker receives their full regular entitlement in the leave year to which it relates, in addition to any carried holiday taken.
Carried forward holiday leave is still subject to the usual rules around payment in lieu. An employer must facilitate the worker taking their annual leave and not replace it with a financial payment. The only exception to this is if the employee leaves in which case the unused holiday should be paid at the normal.
Use the Government’s eligibility checker to confirm whether you are entitled to make a claim.
The claims portal for the existing Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (“SEISS”) went live on 13 May 2020 to provide the self-employed with a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly taxable profits capped at a total of £7,500. Payments have followed within six working days of making the claim. If you haven’t yet claimed the grant then you must do so before 13 July 2020.
On 29 May 2020, the Chancellor announced an extension to the existing SEISS to provide a taxable grant for a further 3 months’ worth of your average monthly profits. The grant will be at a reduced level of 70% of your average monthly trading profits capped at a total of £6,570. This will be the final grant to be paid under this scheme and the claims portal will go live in August 2020.
In order to make your claim you will need:
How to claim
You’ll need to log onto your Government Gateway account in the normal way. Once logged on you will have to self-certify to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus and enter your relevant bank details. Your grant should then follow within six working days.
There is no evidence required of the effect on your business although we expect HMRC to run checks in the coming months with any dishonest claims being recovered with a penalty.
If you’re unable to claim online you should contact HMRC for help.
If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. Please remain vigilant with your personal information.
The Government have confirmed that the grant under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) can still be claimed for holiday taken during period of furlough.
If an employee on furlough takes annual leave, an employer must calculate and pay the correct holiday pay in accordance with the contract. Where this contract rate is more than what the employee is receiving on furlough then the employer must pay the difference.
The Government has confirmed that taking holiday does not break the furlough period and the employer can continue to claim the grant from the government under the CJRS for the period of holiday. The cost to the employer is therefore only the top up from the claim under CJRS and the normal pay rate for holiday.
The employer is able to insist that holiday is taken provided they give the correct notice which is twice the amount of holiday to be taken. For example to insist one week of holiday is taken, two weeks’ notice must be given. Due consideration should be given to the employee to consider whether any social distancing or self-isolation restrictions the employee is under would prevent the employee from resting, relaxing and enjoying leisure time, which is the fundamental purpose of holiday.
For bank holidays, where a bank holiday falls within a period of furlough and the employee would have usually worked the bank holiday, their furlough will be unaffected by the bank holiday.
However, if the employee would usually have had the bank holiday as annual leave, there are two options on which the employer and employee should agree:
We recommend that employers consider annual leave carefully for any employees that are on furlough before they return. If holiday is not considered then an employee could be away from work for several months on furlough, and then return with their full holiday entitlement to be taken when the business is back up and running.
There have also been some changes to the carry forward of holidays into future years that may impact on this issue, and further details relating to these changes can be found here.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was extended to 31 October 2020 earlier in May and on 29 May 2020, the Chancellor announced more details about this extension to the scheme. The new guidance is aimed at allowing employers to bring back staff on a part time basis, and involves employers contributing towards the cost of the scheme on an increasing basis.
The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June 2020. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that you have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June 2020. This means that the final date that you can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June 2020 for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June 2020.
Employers will have until 31 July 2020 to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June 2020.
A condition of the original scheme was that furloughed employees could not do any work whilst on furlough. With effect from 1 July 2020, in order to assist employers in bringing employees back into work, employers will have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis. The Government will continue to contribute to wages for any of their normal hours they do not work at 80% up to a cap of £2,500 per month although this contribution reduces over coming months as explained below.
The employer can decide the hours and shift patterns that your employees will work on their return and you will be responsible for paying their wages in full for the hours they are working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as your business needs, with no minimum time that employers can furlough staff for.
There are some key points to record and retain for the furloughed employees:
From 1 March 2020 the Government have funded 80% of wages for furlough staff up to a cap of £2,500 per month as well as the employers’ national insurance and pension contributions. Employers are now being asked to share the cost of the furlough wages as follows:
Ashgates have passed their Cyber Essentials Certification for another year. We take Cyber Security very seriously and this demonstrates we are continually working to secure our business and its data.
Cyber Essentials is a Government backed scheme, helping organisations improve their defences & demonstrate publicly, their commitment to Cyber Security.
Having reviewed our own policies, procedures and defences it is great to know that we not only comply but also exceed the requirements in many areas.
If you would like to see how Cyber Essentials can benefit your business, working to secure your customers data and demonstrate your commitment to Cyber Security, please get in touch with Ashgates IT for more information.
HMRC have published the updated rates for mileage claims on company cars that take effect from 1 June 2020.
You can use the previous rates for up to one month from the date the new rates apply. The advisory fuel rates per mile for journeys undertaken on or after 1 June 2020 are: