Eligibility dates for Job Retention Scheme updated

1 May 2020

The Government guidance for employers on the Job Retention Scheme has been updated as of 15 April 2020. Eligibility for the Scheme has changed and the key date for eligibility is now 19 March 2020 instead of 28 February 2020.

The guidance lists the following.

  • To be eligible to claim for the Government grant, organisations must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020, enrolled for PAYE online and have a UK bank account.

  • Employees must have been on the organisation’s payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and have been notified to HMRC via a RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020. This is aimed at capturing more employees within the Scheme. This now means that more new starters can be furloughed and claimed for — capturing anyone who joined after 28 February up to and including 19 March

  • Employees that were on the payroll on 28 February 2020 but then left before 19 March 2020 can also qualify for the Scheme if the organisation re-employs them and puts them on furlough

  • Government guidance published on 30 April 2020 confirms that employees who were subject to a TUPE transfer after 28 February 2020 can be furloughed and the new employer can claim for their wages, to the prescribed amount, via the Scheme. This reverts the position back to that which had been in place before 15 April 2020, when the Government amended their guidance to state that employees who had been transferred after 19 March could be claimed for under the Scheme. For now, the position is this: employees transferred after 28 February 2020 can be claimed for provided they are on the “new” employer’s payroll, and an RTI submission made, on or before 19 March 2020.

  • Where a group of companies have multiple PAYE schemes and there is a transfer of all employees from these schemes into a new consolidated PAYE scheme after 19 March 2020, the new scheme will be eligible to furlough those employees and claim the grants available under the Scheme.

  • For fixed salary earners, organisations will claim for 80% of the employee’s salary as in their last pay period prior to 19 March 2020. If, based on previous guidance, the organisation has calculated the claim based on the employee’s salary as at 28 February 2020 (and this differs from their salary in their last pay period prior to 19 March 2020), they can choose to still use this calculation for their first claim.

Further furlough guidance