Change of Furlough Qualifying Date

A new announcement has been made by the government, in that the qualifying date for furloughed employees has changed from 28th February 2020 to 19th March 2020. The government guidance website has been updated to read:

“You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 19 March 2020. Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.”

It provides further clarity by confirming:

“If you made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 28 February 2020, you can re-employ them, put them on furlough and claim for their wages through the scheme. This applies to employees that were made redundant or stopped working for you after 28 February, even if you do not re-employ them until after 19 March. This applies as long as the employee was on your payroll as at 28th February and had been notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February 2020. This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 28 February 2020”

“The requirement for RTI has not been mentioned before, however, the 19th March is a significant date as it is the RTI deadline for February payroll.  The only additional employees that it would potentially capture, as I see it, is those that started after the 1st March, with a mid-month payroll and the RTI was submitted before the 19th March.  It is expected that very few additional employees will be captured into the scheme as a result of the additional criteria and those that started with a new employer on or after 01st March with a monthly payroll that submitted their RTI after the 19th March would still not qualify to be furloughed with the new employer.”, says Toni.

It is hardly surprising that the scheme is constantly changing, typically legislation like this takes 2-3 years to come to life, this one has been released within 3-4 weeks. Please expect this legislation to attract more changes and clarification over the next few weeks.

If you wish to take further advice on how best to handle COVID-19 in your business, please contact NucleusHR on 07960 418494 or toni@nucleushr.com