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Coronavirus/COVID-19: Update 31 March 2020

This may be our shortest daily update so far. Time now to focus on assessing how the different business support measures could affect you and your operations.

If you are in any doubt about any of the measures or require clarification on how they may impact your business, we encourage you to contact us via our usual email and phone numbers. The GWA team may not be in the office but we are still here to help, albeit working remotely wherever possible.

You may also want to follow our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts for any immediate information updates in addition to any information we post on our website.

Self-Assessment Tax Payments Deferral Extended to All

HMRC has updated its guidance on the self-assessment July deferral to include all self-assessment taxpayers not just the self-employed.

This will give a little more leeway for many self-assessment taxpayers in paying their tax liabilities, allowing tax payments due on the 31 July 2020 to be deferred until 31 January 2021. The deferment is optional with no penalties or interest being charged on the deferred payment.

No applications are required to benefit from this deferral. We do want to emphasise that this is only a deferral and any tax liability is not being cancelled.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The details of this scheme have been covered in our previous updates.

We would like to highlight again that changing the status of an employee is subject to existing employment law and any employment contracts in place. The following information may be helpful and has been taken from the ACAS website.

Selecting and telling affected employees
Employers must select employees for furlough in a fair way to avoid any discrimination. You must also get agreement from the employee to do this, unless it’s covered by a clause in the employment contract. If an employee disagrees with their employer’s decision, they need to talk to their employer and try to come to an agreement.

Changing an employment contract
If an employer cannot reach an agreement, they may want to change the written terms in an employee’s contract.

If there are more than 20 employees affected, employers will need to consult staff representatives (‘collectively consult’).

Furlough agreements
Any furlough agreements should be in writing. It’s a good idea to include:

  • the date furlough starts
  • when it will be reviewed
  • how to keep in contact during furlough

Further information and more details about changing an employment contract can be found on the ACAS website. 

If you have any concerns or queries please get in touch. We are here to help wherever possible.

Information correct as of 31 March 2020

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