Covid-19 has raised many questions and uncertainties for the dental profession. Over the next few weeks, Shoaib Khan of Alexander & Co Chartered Accountants, will be outlining the financial implications of Covid-19 for dental professionals, with advice on how to navigate these challenges.
In this next article of the series, Shoaib will discuss the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
See the first article in our Covid-19 series on the self‐employed income support scheme (SEISS).
Employers need to be registered for PAYE before CJRS claims can be made. Once the employer has gathered together the relevant information, the claim can be made at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.
HMRC advise that payment will be received six days after making an application. Employers who wish to receive a payment from the scheme by the end of the month will therefore need to submit their claim at least six working days in advance for the payment to cleared into their bank account.
As stated above, it is likely that the NHS will be asking mixed practices to provide evidence of how the split between NHS and private income is calculated. Furthermore, HMRC are contacting employers on a random basis to check whether a claim is valid.
Case study: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims
An employee who has been working for an employer for many years is paid a fixed gross monthly salary of £2,400 per month, with the last payment received on the last day of February 2020. The employee has agreed to be placed on furlough from 21 March 2020, at 80% of their salary.
The employer can claim a CJRS payment for March as follows:
- £2,400 divided by 31 (days in March) = £77.42
- £77.42 x 11 days (21 March to 31 March) = £851.62
- £851.62 x 80% = £681.30
- The maximum amount test is: monthly maximum of £2,500 divided by 31 days in March = £80.65
- £80.65 x 11 days of furlough = £887.15. This employer’s claim of £681.30 is a lower amount, so this is the amount that may be claimed.
The employee’s gross pay at the end of the month is made up of £1,548.40 of salary funded by the employers for 1 to 20 March (20 days), plus £681.30 of pay funded by CJRS for the remaining 11 days of March. The employer NICs due on the total gross pay of £2,229.70 is £208.48
- Step 1: £208.48 divided by 31 days in March = £6.73
- Step 2: Daily employer NIC amount of £6.73, multiplied by 11 furlough days = £74.03.
The employer claims £74.03 for employer NIC’s due on the employee’s March pay.
Changes to the scheme from August 2020
From August 2020, new flexibility will be introduced, which the Government states is aimed to get employees back to work. From this date, furloughed workers will be able to return to work on a part-time basis with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.
The employer payments will substitute the contribution the Government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive at least 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month. The percentage that employers are expected to pay is yet to be confirmed.
The Government will publish more information and the specific details around its implementation, by the end of May 2020. Our website will have updates when further information becomes available.
CJRS and Associate Dentists operating via Limited Companies
Based on government guidance, it is possible for directors of private companies to furlough themselves and make a claim under CJRS for in respect of their salary. Therefore, it is possible for Associate Dentists operating via a limited company to take advantage of CJRS, if they meet the relevant criteria. They would also be unable to work via their company during the furlough period
However, this could present operational challenges. For example, where an Associate Dentist who is currently on standby to return to work, either in practice or for COVID-19 frontline work, decides to make a claim under CJRS and furlough themselves. Under the CJRS rules, furloughed staff will not be allowed to work for an initial 3 weeks period after being furloughed. If such an individual is requested to return to work during their furlough period, they would either be forced to decline to work or break the CJRS rules.
Therefore, detailed considerations will be required before making a claim under CJRS for Associate Dentists operating via a limited company. This article is simply highlighting the availability of CJRS to private limited companies, however the complications it presents for Associate Dentist operating via a company are outside the scope of this article.
General requirements for making claims are summarised as follows:
- the employer must agree with the employee that they are a furloughed worker;
- employees must be notified that they have been furloughed;
- employees must be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks;
- the employee cannot do any work for the employer that has furloughed them;
- the scheme allows claims for 80% of wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per furloughed employee;
- separate claims are needed for each PAYE scheme;
- only employees who were on the PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 may be furloughed;
- a HMRC RTI submission notifying payment in respect of the employee claimed for must have been made on or before 19 March 2020; and
- the employer must have a UK bank account.
Staffing decisions are tough in the best of times, if practice owners or associate dentist would like assistance in calculating the possible support that may be available to them under CJRS, due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) or for assistance with general tax affairs, please get in touch with Shoaib on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whilst this article focuses on the CJRS, there is also other support such as grants and loans available to businesses and dental practices owners may be able to benefit from these as well. Further information is available on our website: https://alexander.co.uk/coronavirus-business-guidance