As more information comes in, Armstrong Watson will do its utmost to share it with you as soon as possible. Below is some more information from the Government on SSP and the Job Retention Scheme. Unfortunately, not all the information we actually need i.e. the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ it will work - watch this space!
Statutory Sick Pay
A number of clients are asking when the SSP rebate scheme will be available. As you will see from this latest guidance from Government, it could be some months before the “rebate” scheme” is set up. From my perspective (Karen Thomson, head of payroll) I don’t understand why we couldn’t use a field on the EPS? I appreciate if a new field then this impacts payroll software and HMRC’s systems, but given the circumstances it is a shame that RTI cannot be used, when the Government often feels it can be used to deliver everything else?
Job Retention Scheme
There is a bit more information for this scheme than SSP and it can be found here. Interestingly, the Government is saying it is setting up a new portal, which implies they won’t use anything that exists now. We are urging Government to allow agents to access on behalf of clients, where they outsource their payroll; but we will need to wait and see. Also encouraging is this publication says in the coming weeks, rather than months as for the SSP rebate.
There has been a lot of speculation around will this be available for all employers, with a number of advisors suggesting this scheme might be “means” tested based on profits etc. However, from reading this, my interpretation is that it will be available to all as the statement lifted from the publication does state ALL:
“All UK-wide employers with a PAYE scheme will be eligible – this includes the public sector, Local Authorities and charities.”
It would be very disappointing to say the least if larger businesses kept their people on, even though none or very little income coming in and then there is a different definition; I don’t think this would be in the spirit of the Government’s current intentions?
Obviously there are still many questions needing answering. Zero hours it is suggested will be based on earnings in February, what about the calculation for weekly paid; divide £37,500 by 52 or the normal apportionment employers operate for their weekly amounts. Will Directors be included, what about on-costs? These are just a few of the many operational questions the payroll industry and others are asking. We will inform as soon as the Government informs.
If you do have any questions, or would just like a friendly ear to discuss potential options please do contact me directly. I might be working from home but I am fully operational!