Frequently Asked Questions

We have pulled together some answers to the questions we have been asked the most about business support in response to Covid-19 (coronavirus).

As always, if you need to discuss anything specific in relation to you and your business please contact us .

Q. What is a furloughed employee?
A. Furloughed employees are workers whose employer can’t cover staff costs due to the coronavirus crisis.

Q: Can directors make use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)?
A. As office holders, salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme. Company directors owe duties to their company which are set out in the Companies Act 2006. Where a company (acting through its board of directors) considers that it is in compliance with the statutory duties of one or more of its individual salaried directors, the board can decide that such directors should be furloughed. Where one or more individual directors’ furlough is so decided by the board, this should be formally adopted as a decision of the company, noted in the company records and communicated in writing to the director(s) concerned.

Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.

This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC).

To find out more about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme click here.

Q. Are employers to continue paying employees on the usual weekly/monthly basis and then reclaim the 80% retrospectively in respect to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?
A. Yes. The employee needs to be furloughed but remain on the payroll and then the subsidy can be claimed and backdated to when they were furloughed from when the scheme is up and running, which should be the end of April.

Q. Are PAYE staff on zero hours contracts also covered by Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and do you have any idea how their wage will be calculated, which often varies week-to-week?
A. Yes, they are. If the employee has been employed (or engaged by an employment business) for a full twelve months prior to the claim, you can claim for the higher of either the same month’s earning from the previous year or the average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year.

If the employee has been employed for less than a year, you can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work.

If the employee only started in February 2020, use a pro-rata for their earnings so far to claim.

Q. When I am going to hear about getting help with a grant to support my business and how much will it be?
A. Local councils are currently working on identifying businesses which will be eligible for the grants. A one-off grant of £10,000 to support small businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief.

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector in England, then you may be entitled to a cash grant. If you have a property with a rateable value of less than £15,000 then you will be entitled to a grant of £10,000, whether or not you are entitled to small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector. If you have a property with a rateable value of between £14,999 and £51,000, then you will be entitled to a cash grant of £25,000.

Your local council (e.g. West Norfolk Borough Council) will be contacting customers and asking them to complete an online form to confirm they have the correct occupier and the business is still trading. Once they have the information back, this will be checked, and grants awarded.

Payments should be made in early April.

We have pulled together some answers to the questions we have been asked the most about business support in response to Covid-19 (coronavirus).

As always, if you need to discuss anything specific in relation to you and your business please contact us .

Q. What is a furloughed employee?
A. Furloughed employees are workers whose employer can’t cover staff costs due to the coronavirus crisis.

Q: Can directors make use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)?
A. As office holders, salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme. Company directors owe duties to their company which are set out in the Companies Act 2006. Where a company (acting through its board of directors) considers that it is in compliance with the statutory duties of one or more of its individual salaried directors, the board can decide that such directors should be furloughed. Where one or more individual directors’ furlough is so decided by the board, this should be formally adopted as a decision of the company, noted in the company records and communicated in writing to the director(s) concerned.

Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.

This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC).

To find out more about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme click here.

Q. Are employers to continue paying employees on the usual weekly/monthly basis and then reclaim the 80% retrospectively in respect to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?
A. Yes. The employee needs to be furloughed but remain on the payroll and then the subsidy can be claimed and backdated to when they were furloughed from when the scheme is up and running, which should be the end of April.

Q. Are PAYE staff on zero hours contracts also covered by Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and do you have any idea how their wage will be calculated, which often varies week-to-week?
A. Yes, they are. If the employee has been employed (or engaged by an employment business) for a full twelve months prior to the claim, you can claim for the higher of either the same month’s earning from the previous year or the average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year.

If the employee has been employed for less than a year, you can claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work.

If the employee only started in February 2020, use a pro-rata for their earnings so far to claim.

Q. When I am going to hear about getting help with a grant to support my business and how much will it be?
A. Local councils are currently working on identifying businesses which will be eligible for the grants. A one-off grant of £10,000 to support small businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief.

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector in England, then you may be entitled to a cash grant. If you have a property with a rateable value of less than £15,000 then you will be entitled to a grant of £10,000, whether or not you are entitled to small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector. If you have a property with a rateable value of between £14,999 and £51,000, then you will be entitled to a cash grant of £25,000.

Your local council (e.g. West Norfolk Borough Council) will be contacting customers and asking them to complete an online form to confirm they have the correct occupier and the business is still trading. Once they have the information back, this will be checked, and grants awarded.

Payments should be made in early April.

Question Mark

Our Offices

King's Lynn

22-26 King Street, King’s Lynn,
Norfolk, PE30 1HJ

Clive Dodds – 07836 328540
clive.dodds@stephenson-smart.com

Mike Andrews – 07787 542823
michael.andrews@stephenson-smart.com

Claire Melton – 07833 051628
claire.melton@stephenson-smart.com

T:   01553 774104

F:   01553 692602

E:   enquiries@stephenson-smart.com

Fakenham

10 Oak Street, Fakenham,
Norfolk, NR21 9DY

Martyn Benstead – 07833 051235
martyn.benstead@stephenson-smart.com

T:   01328 863318

F:   01328 855732

E:   fakenham@stephenson-smart.com

Wisbech

2 The Crescent, Wisbech,
Cambridgeshire, PE13 1EH

Chris Goad – 07833 051239 –
chris.goad@stephenson-smart.com

T:   01945 463383

F:   01945 475968

E:   wisbech@stephenson-smart.com

Great Yarmouth

East Coast House, Galahad Road, Beacon Park,
Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR31 7RU

Henry Pettitt – 07833 051887
henry.pettitt@stephenson-smart.com

T:   01493 382500

F:   01493 651172

E:   greatyarmouth@stephenson-smart.com

Downham Market

1st Floor, 9 Market Place,
Downham Market, Norfolk, PE38 9DG

Chris Goad – 07833 051239 –
chris.goad@stephenson-smart.com

T:   01366 384121

F:   01366 858083

E:   downhammarket@stephenson-smart.com

March

23 Dartford Road, March,
Cambridgeshire, PE15 8AN

Chris Goad – 07833 051239 –
chris.goad@stephenson-smart.com

T:   01354 653026

F:   01354 650337

E:   march@stephenson-smart.com

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