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HMRC just hosted a webinar for businesses on the practicalities of furloughing. As well as talking through the basics, there were lots of questions from the audience. Here is a selection of answers that seem most pertinent to TV and film freelancers, currently getting mixed messages on whether they can be furloughed if their contract came to a 'natural end'. (In short, yes you can.) Quite a few of the questions below are similar - but I thought it was useful to include them all so you can see the consistency of the guidance. 




Q: Can I furlough someone who was on the payroll in February, but whose fixed term contract came to a natural end in March? IE can I rehire them (on a FTC) in order to furlough them?

A: The scheme allows for those who were on the payroll of a company on 28 February but subsequently left, to be put back on payroll and furloughed. Decisions around whether to offer to furlough someone are down to the individual company.

 

 

Q:  If you furlough a member of staff that left your employee on the 7th March and they have a new job and are not going to return to your work is this ok?

A:  The scheme allows for those who were on the payroll of a company on 28 February 2020 but who subsequently left, to be put back on payroll and furloughed. Decisions around whether to offer to furlough someone are down to the individual company.

 

 

Q:  if an employee has not worked in the last 2 months can they still get furlongh pay as still employed by us

A:  Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including: · full-time employees · part-time employees · employees on agency contracts · employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts · apprentices

 

 

Q:  I need to furlough myself and close my business down. Sometimes I pay myself £800 per month, other times as much as £1800. Do I just take an average of the past 12 months?

A:  For full time and part time salaried employees, the employee’s actual salary before tax, as of 28 February should be used to calculate the 80%. Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included. For employees whose pay varies, if the employee has been employed (or engaged by an employment business) for a full twelve months prior to the claim, employers can claim for the higher of either: - the same month’s earning from the previous year - average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year If the employee has been employed for less than a year, employers can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work. If the employee only started in February 2020, they should use a pro-rata for their earnings so far to claim.

 

 


Q:  We have an agency worker who started to work on w/c 24th Feb. Paid for first time on 6th March (paid week in arrears). Can they be furloughed?

A:  The funding will be available to all employers with a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020. Any UK organisation with employees can apply, including: - businesses - charities - recruitment agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE) - public authorities Where a company is being taken under the management of an administrator, the administrator will be able to access the scheme.

 

 


Q:  We have agency workers who started in February, but because of client system issues they were not paid until March, can they be Furloughed.

A:  The funding will be available to all employers with a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020. Any UK organisation with employees can apply, including: - businesses - charities - recruitment agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE) - public authorities Where a company is being taken under the management of an administrator, the administrator will be able to access the scheme.

 


Q:  I have two members of staff who started with the compmay 01/02/2020 but We didnt put them through the payroll until the period 01/03/3030 - 31/03/2020. Can I still claim furlough for these members of staff as they worked for the company before the 28th feb.

A:  Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including: - full-time employees - part-time employees - employees on agency contracts - employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts The scheme also covers employees who were made redundant since 28 February 2020, if they are rehired by their employer.

 

 

Q:  If someone is furloughed for 3 weeks can they still get up to £2,500 or it this pro-rata?

A:  The grant will enable employers to pay employees up to 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 per month An additional grant is available to cover the employer’s National Insurance Contributions on salary up to those limits and the minimum Auto-enrolment pension contributions.

 

 

Q:  If an employee started work before 28 Feb 2020, but was not paid until after this date, can they be furloughed?

A:  Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including: · full-time employees · part-time employees · employees on agency contracts · employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts · apprentices

 

 

Q:  Can you clarify if an ex-employee who left after 28th Feb may be reemployed and placed on furlough? To be clear, they resigned and were NOT made redundant? Thank you

A:  The scheme allows for those who were on the payroll of a company on 28 February but subsequently left, to be put back on payroll and furloughed. Decisions around whether to offer to furlough someone are down to the individual company.

 

 

Q:  If a director gets paid once a year for the whole of the PAYE year, if we were to furlough him, do we have to divide his annual salary and claim 80% of the monthly amount?

A:  For full time and part time salaried employees, the employee’s actual salary before tax, as of 28 February should be used to calculate the 80%. For employees whose pay varies, if the employee has been employed (or engaged by an employment business) for a full twelve months prior to the claim, employers can claim for the higher of either: · the same month’s earning from the previous year · average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year If the employee has been employed for less than a year, employers can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work. If the employee only started in February 2020, they should use a pro-rata for their earnings so far to claim and claim for 80%.

 

 

Q:  How do I calculate what to pay a zero hours workers

A:  For full time and part time salaried employees, the employee’s actual salary before tax, as of 28 February should be used to calculate the 80%. Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included. For employees whose pay varies, if the employee has been employed (or engaged by an employment business) for a full twelve months prior to the claim, employers can claim for the higher of either: - the same month’s earning from the previous year - average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year If the employee has been employed for less than a year, employers can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work. If the employee only started in February 2020, they should use a pro-rata for their earnings so far to claim.

 

Q:  Can freelance self employed staff that primarily work for one company be taken on and furloughed?

A:  Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including: - full-time employees - part-time employees - employees on agency contracts - employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts The scheme also covers employees who were made redundant since 28 February 2020, if they are rehired by their employer.

 

 

 

 

 

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