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New legislation – redundancy payments 

New legislation came into force on 31 July 2020 to ensure that furloughed employees will receive statutory redundancy payments based on 100% of their normal pay, not at the reduced furlough rate.

Furlough contributions 

From 1 August you’ll be required to pay make NICs and pension contributions towards a furloughed employee’s pay (with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages up to £2500). From 1 September you’ll be required to contribute 10% towards those wages.

End to shielding restrictions 

From 1 August, individuals who are at significant risk if they contract coronavirus will no longer need to shield. They will still need to observe strict social distancing by minimising contact with others outside their household or support bubble. Provided your workplace is COVID-secure, shielding employees can return to work.

Furlough over-payment penalties 

The government announced on Wednesday that they would be issuing penalties for employers who have received over-payments from the Job Retention Scheme and have failed to inform HMRC. You can either:

  1. Let HMRC know as part of your next online claim if you’re continuing to furlough employees. Your next claim will be reduced to reflect the previous over-payment and you’ll need to keep a record of the adjustment for six years. Or;
  2. Contact HMRC directly to pay the money back if you’re not going to be furloughing employees further and therefore won’t be submitting another claim.

There are strict timescales within which you need to notify HMRC to avoid the penalties.

Self-isolation period extended 

The government has announced that the self-isolation period has been extended from 7, to 10 days, for anyone that has symptoms of coronavirus or has a positive test result. Anyone that has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus will still have to self-isolate for 14 days.