Update on 15 April 2020: Employees who started new jobs up until 19 March have now been brought into the scope of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and their employers can make a claim for 80% of their wages.
The change was revealed in HM Revenue & Customs’ fourth iteration of its furlough scheme guidance, which has been published today (15 April).
It followed widespread criticism that the furlough scheme left people who changed employers after the previous 28 February cut-off date without any income.
The new eligibility cut-off date also applies to staff who have transferred from one organisation to another under TUPE.
The guidance says: “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.”
This is a temporary scheme in place for 3 months starting from 1 March 2020, but it may be extended if necessary and employers can use this scheme anytime during this period. It is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. However, all employers are eligible to claim under the scheme and the government recognises different businesses will face different impacts from coronavirus.
Further information on this scheme is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme