Information Update: 13th April

We hope you have had a nice Easter. Please read on, this is a quick but important update with some key things to check.

I’m Going Live with the FSB to answer your questions:

When: Tuesday 14th April (tomorrow!)
Time: 14:00 – 15:00

Over the last few weeks I have been working with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) so we can collectively lobby on business critical issues.

If you have any outstanding questions or issues to discuss, we are inviting you to join us live. I will be with Michael Weedon, the FSB’s Chair for the Retail Policy Unit, as well as BID managers from nearby BIDs.

Please email me any specific questions you have, or submit questions once you have registered. Please note, you will need to register with the FSB to book a slot, but you do not have to be a member i.e. it is open to all.

A Note on Furloughed Staff

We are a little worried that some businesses may have furloughed staff, but may not have competed all the documentation required. As you know guidance has been rapidly changing and the process must also be suited to the contract you have with your staff. In addition, the guidance states that an employer should:

  1. Discuss with their staff and make changes to the employment contract by agreement
  2. Confirm in writing to their employee that they have been furloughed
  3. Keep a record of this for FIVE years, as HMRC may audit this

It is also important not to discriminate when selecting individuals to furlough, where you have a pool of employees who do the same job and there also many questions e.g. how does sick pay and maternity pay affect furlough pay, can you take holiday during furlough pay, can I reemploy someone who I have already made redundant due to COVID-19, what do you do if a furloughed employee refuses to come back to work, can a furloughed employee take up a second job?

I have attached two information sheets, and there is more information on our website – please see No 5 at this link (click here).

Also, we don’t want you to worry about this, so have teamed up with Absolute HR who are offering to take you through a quick and confidential 10min check at no cost to your business.

Please let me know if you would like to register for this support?

Important! Payment Gateway Registration (for furloughed staff) – please read to avoid delay

If you currently have staff which are furloughed, HMRC have advised that the portal to reclaim wages should be open from Monday 20th April. HMRC have also advised that to access the new portal you must have registered for PAYE online.

Importantly, at this stage, accountants or Payroll Bureaus who process payrolls on your behalf, will NOT be able to file the claim through the portal using their current agency arrangements. Based on this there is an important step that YOU must take to make sure you are prepared to make your claim through the portal.

If you already have a government gateway (you may have set one up, for example, when you implemented making tax digital), you’ll need to find your 12 digit Government Gateway ID and your password. You then need to login and make sure your PAYE liability is shown. If not, then you need to select the option to enrol for ‘PAYE for Employers’ under ‘Services you can add’ and enter your details.

Attached above, is the information we received from our accountant (which we are permitted to share) outlining the registration links and process, including what to do if you have lost your 12 digit Government Gateway ID and password. We also recommend you contact your own accountant for advice if needed.

As mentioned above, it is important that you check whether you already have this or take action now to obtain registration as it can take 10 days to get registered. You will not be able to apply and receive your grant until you have this PAYE registration.

Please also note, the increase in National Minimum Living Wage came into effect on April 1st.

Happy Easter & What’s Coming Up …

Once again, Alison and I hope you had a pleasant Easter, and maybe even had time to do our online Easter Egg hunt with family or friends. There is still time:

This week, we will continue to focus on lobbying for additional business support across a range of areas, including support for businesses who did not get grants. Thank you to those that competed the survey. The results were sobering but very important and collated data will be shared with partners, including our MP and the Minister for Business and Industry as we seek further support. They will also be available on website soon.

Please do not hesitate to contact us about issues that concern you.

We hope you stay safe and well.