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COVID-19: Act fast to reinstate workers for the furlough grant

1 April: Businesses wanting to reinstate workers to their payroll to receive the coronavirus job scheme grant may face complications if they delay beyond 6 April.

Employers forced to make staff redundant due to the coronavirus pandemic before the government announced support measures, have been seeking clarification as to whether it is possible to reinstate workers who had been on the payroll at 28 February 2020.

ICAEW’s Tax Faculty understands that it is. But how?

HMRC permits employers to restore a redundant worker who had previously been on the payroll, and then continue paying them as a current employee, even if the leaving date has already been submitted on a Full Payment Submission.

Employers will need to ask their payroll software provider how to reinstate an employee through Real Time Information. Some software can do this simply by removing the leaving date and then continuing to pay the worker as normal, but not all. HMRC will then reopen the record, as long as the year-to-date values follow on appropriately from the employers’ last submission. However, this only applies if you do it in the current tax year and 5 April is approaching fast.

In other cases, the employer will need to set up a new employee record.