COVID-19: Government Business Updates for Employers
Our latest TurnerWarran business support blog covers the updated guidance for when you submit a CJRS claim, as updated by HMRC, the new government guidance to get employees safely back to work where possible, and the downloadable guidance posters to display in the workplace.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Update For Employers
Save and Return Option Now Added
HMRC have added a ‘save and return’ option. This means that you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
When you make a claim through CJRS, you should receive the funds within six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that HMRC hold for your PAYE scheme.
Making sure that you submit your claim correctly will reduce the chance of any delayed or wrong payments.
These steps should help keep the process as straightforward as possible:
- read the guidance before you apply, to find this go to GOV.UK and search for ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’, there is a step-by-step guide to applying and a calculator
- check your employees are eligible, by looking at the guidance on GOV.UK
- check your calculations each time you submit a claim, in case any details have changed
- only submit one claim per pay period – you cannot submit another claim for overlapping periods; this means that in each claim you should include all furloughed employees paid during that period
- if you have missing National Insurance numbers for employees, do try and find them so it doesn’t delay your claim; if an employee doesn’t have a National Insurance number yet, you should contact HMRC in order to complete your claim; go to GOV.UK and search for ‘get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ to find out how to contact us
- double check all the information in the claim before you submit it, including your bank details.
We understand that sometimes you might make an error in your claim, and HMRC are working on a process to enable you to amend a claim. In the meantime, please do not amend your next claim to reflect any errors that you may have made in a previous one, as this could delay payment. If HMRC spot an error then, where possible, they will contact you or your agent (us if we are filing your claim) to correct the claim.
New Guidance Launched To Help Get Us Safely Back To Work
The Government has published guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely.
New ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines are available to UK employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible.
The government has consulted approximately 250 stakeholders in preparing the guidance. It has been developed with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to develop best practice on the safest ways of working across the economy, providing people with the confidence they need to return to work.
The new guidance covers 8 workplace settings which can be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways.
5 Key Points
This sets out practical steps for businesses focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as it is practical:
- Work from home, if you can –
All reasonable steps should be taken by employers to help people work from home. But for those who cannot work from home and whose workplace has not been told to close, the message is clear: you should go to work. Staff should speak to their employer about when their workplace will open.
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions –
This guidance operates within current health and safety employment and equalities legislation and employers will need to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments in consultation with their workers or trade unions, to establish what guidelines to put in place. If possible, employers should publish the results of their risk assessments on their website and we expect all businesses with over 50 employees to do so.
- Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible –
Employers should re-design workspaces to maintain 2 metre distances between people by staggering start times, creating one-way walk-throughs, opening more entrances and exits, or changing seating layouts in break rooms.
- Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk –
Employers should investigate putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensuring colleagues are facing away from each other.
- Reinforcing cleaning processes –
Workplaces should be cleaned more frequently, paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and keyboards. Employers should provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points.
Downloadable Notices Available for Workplaces:
A downloadable notice is included in the documents, which employers should display in their workplaces to show their employees, customers, and other visitors to their workplace that they have followed this guidance. You will find this notice on each individual section below.
Construction and other outdoor work
Guidance for people who work in or run outdoor working environments.
- Guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb961bfe90e070834b6675f/working-safely-during-covid-19-construction-outdoors-110520.pdf
- Poster: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb959f5e90e0708370f97f9/staying-covid-19-secure.pdf
Factories, plants and warehouses
Guidance for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses.
- Guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb965d5d3bf7f5d3c74a2dd/working-safely-during-covid-19-factories-plants-warehouses-110520.pdf
- Poster: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb963fcd3bf7f5d39550303/staying-covid-19-secure.pdf
Labs and research facilities
Guidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments.
- Guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb9752086650c2799a57ac5/working-safely-during-covid-19-labs-research-facilities-110520.pdf
- Poster: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb9745a86650c2794d7501c/staying-covid-19-secure.pdf
Offices and contact centres
Guidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments.
- Guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb97e7686650c278d4496ea/working-safely-during-covid-19-offices-contact-centres-110520.pdf
- Poster: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb97d30d3bf7f5d364bfbb6/staying-covid-19-secure.pdf
Other people’s homes
Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people’s homes.
- Guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb967e286650c2791ec7100/working-safely-during-covid-19-other-peoples-homes-110520.pdf
- Poster: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb966c8d3bf7f5d3e24afb7/staying-covid-19-secure.pdf
Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.
- Guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e8e86650c278b077616/working-safely-during-covid-19-restaurants-takeaway-delivery-110520.pdf
- Poster: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e36d3bf7f5d4043931f/staying-covid-19-secure.pdf
Shops and branches
Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
- Guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb9703de90e07082fa57ce0/working-safely-during-covid-19-shops-branches-110520.pdf
- Poster: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb97021d3bf7f5d43765cbf/staying-covid-19-secure.pdf
Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles.
Including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces etc.
- Guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96cd6d3bf7f5d3a907e58/working-safely-during-covid-19-vehicles-110520.pdf
- Poster: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96c67e90e07083cd8a46b/staying-covid-19-secure.pdf
Health And Wellbeing Of The Adult Social Care Workforce
The Government has issued advice for those working in adult social care on managing your mental health and how employers can take care of the wellbeing of their staff during the coronavirus outbreak. The advice can be viewed here.
Our Additional Resources:
- How To Create a Government Gateway Personal Tax Account
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Opens
- How To Apply for a Bounce Back Loan and Open a Gateway Account
- Business Support Finder Tool and Further Updates
- HMRC Update of CJRC and Latest Government Announcements
- Furlough Claim Calculator and Cash Grants for Frontline Charities
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) Update