Thousands more employees are now able to receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after the Government extended the eligibility date to March 19.
The change will mean thousands more hospitality workers and new employees can be furloughed with the Government expecting the scheme to be fully operational next week.
This includes seasonal staff who were hired ahead of the Easter and summer periods.
Robin Hutson, chairman of The Pig hotels, earlier this month took to Twitter to ask UKHospitality for clarity on how the furlough scheme would impact future employees. The new Pig in Cornwall was due to open in May, but this has now been pushed back because of Covid-19, leaving new staff members in ‘limbo land’.
He tweeted chief executive Kate Nicholls saying that 70 job offer letters had been accepted by new starters who had left previous employers but not yet on payroll.
This new announcement will protect the jobs of employees like this and more.
Under the scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last month, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month.
To qualify and to protect against fraudulent claims, individuals originally had to be employed on February 28, 2020.
However, following a review of the delivery system, new guidance has confirmed the eligibility date has been extended to March 19 – the day before the scheme was announced.
Employers can claim on the furlough scheme for employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March.
This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.
Government says this change makes the scheme more generous while keeping the substantial fraud risks under control and is expected to benefit over 200,000 employees.
HMRC have been working at pace to delivering the scheme, which is due to be fully operational next week.
If any employer now thinks they are eligible for support, they can find out more here.
The furlough scheme was formed as part of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £330bn financial support package.