Latest Service Update: 
  To read all our latest Covid-19/Furlough related FAQs please click here.  To access our newly built Furlough Portal click here.


Natural Fit

Coronavirus - Information for employers

How will coronavirus affect domestic employers?

We are monitoring Government announcements daily and will update the information below as and when changes happen. Please read our customer FAQs for the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) news and advice related to domestic employers.

*You can read our Covid-19 customer communications (emails sent to Stafftax customers from 19/03/2020) here.

Our FAQS are divided into:

  1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the furlough process
  2. Redundancy
  3. General SSP and Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme queries
  4. Other Coronavirus related FAQs
  5. Furlough Portal

1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the furlough process

What should I do if my family or my employee has to self isolate for 14 days, following a holiday, due to Government advice?

If employers are returning from a country and need to quarantine for two weeks, and have a live-out employee the employee cannot attend the workplace as the family should be isolating. The employee will need to be paid in full. If they have a live-in, the employee should isolate with them.

If the employee is away and needs to self-isolate for two weeks upon return, SSP can be paid.

Can my employee come back part-time but still be part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

From 1st July 2020, employers will be given the flexibility to bring furlough employees back part-time. Employers must agree with their employee any new flexible furloughing arrangement and confirm that agreement in writing. Employers will:

  • • Be responsible for paying the wages, tax, and NICs of their employees for the hours they do work but can still claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working.
  • • Need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
  • • When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.


This is a minimum period and those making claims for longer periods such as those on monthly or two weekly cycles will be able to do so.

Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12 June.

Can I still apply for funding through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

The scheme closed to new entrants on the 31st of July. From this point onwards, employers are only able to furlough employees that they have furlough for a full three-week period to 30th June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be the 10th June, in order for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30th June.

Employers will have until 31st July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30th June. From 1st July, the scheme will only be available to employers that have previously used the scheme in respect of employees they have previously furloughed.

From 1st July, claim periods will no longer be able to overlap months, employers who previously submitted claims with periods that overlapped calendar months will no longer be able to do this going forward. This is necessary to reflect the forthcoming changes to the scheme.

The number of employees an employer can claim for in any claim period cannot exceed the maximum number they have claimed for under any previous claim under the current CJRS.

How long will the Government continue to pay 80% of my employer’s wages as well as National Insurance and Pension contributions?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain in its original form until 31st July 2020. From then on, the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work. From August, businesses will be asked to contribute towards their employee’s salary, but crucially individuals will continue to receive that 80% of salary covering the time they are unable to work.

Do I have to start contributing to the 80%?

Employers have been asked to start contributing from 1st August. Therefore Employers can still receive 80% of their employee's salaries (plus Employers National Insurance and pension) until 31st July.

Please see below a guide for how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will change over the coming months.

  • • June and July: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything.
  • • August: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
  • • September: The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
  • • October: The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.


What if I’m already topping up my employee salary to 100%?

As with the previous scheme, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish but this will need to be in addition to the contributions expected of you as part of the Job Retention Scheme.

What happens if I cannot afford to make any contributions to my employer’s salary or bring them back part-time as part of the flexible furlough?

Part-time furlough will work for many employers, however, there will, unfortunately, be some that will need to consider the redundancy option. If you are going to make your employee redundant, please do not use the furlough portal. Get in touch with our HR team who will be able to advise on your options based on your employee's length of service, contract, and circumstances.

You should only consider redundancy an employees service is no longer required or when the job they do becomes obsolete. An Employer should first consider any alternatives to redundancy, such as reducing overtime to a workable minimum or by investigating temporary measures such as reduced working days.

It is against the law to make someone redundant due to their gender, age, race, religious beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy or maternity.

For more information on redundancy, please scroll down to the redundancy FAQs below.

How do I start or end furlough for my employee?

You can start and end furlough for your employee through our furlough portal. Simply log in and find the most relevant step.

For those starting furlough, proceed to step two. For those ending furlough go straight to step six and complete the relevant information.

You don't need to be logged in to end an employee furlough, you just need your payroll number, your email address that's on our system, and your name.

For those furloughing their employee for the first time, the portal will also detail the furlough process and how to reclaim.

I want to re-furlough my employee, what do I need to do?

Login to our Furlough Portal where you can tell us that you would like to re-furlough your employee. Once logged in, go straight to step two and complete the relevant information. You don't need to be logged in to end an employee furlough, you just need your payroll number, your email address that's on our system and your name.

If you're unable to do this via our furlough portal, please send your name, payroll ID, employee name and start date of the new furlough period to covid19queries@stafftax.co.uk.

Who processes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme application?

Unfortunately, we cannot make the claim on your behalf. One of the reasons is that we cannot set-up a PAYE online account (masking as you) as a security code is sent to your mobile each time login is required. In addition, the information held within the HMRC online account contains sensitive personal data about you and your personal tax affairs.

What are my options once the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends in October?

When the scheme closes on October 31st 2020, you must decide to either:

  • • bring your employee back to work on their normal hours
  • • reduce your employees’ hours
  • • terminate their employment (normal redundancy rules apply to furloughed employees)


My payslip(s) do not have the furlough applied, what shall I do?

We have a high volume of demand for furlough workers and we are working as quickly as possible to apply furlough and reflect this on the payslips.

If you have been in touch and provided us with all the information required to furlough your employee and received confirmation back from us, we are in the process of applying furlough to your payslips and will be in touch when your payslip is updated.

I have a query about the furlough process, where can I find out more?

Login to our furlough portal where we have put together a 6 step guide that covers how to reclaim 80% of your employee’s salary from the Government and details the process.

Alternatively, you can read our one-page furlough worker factsheet here.

For the latest official guidance on the furlough worker scheme, please visit this page.

Are Tax, National Insurance and pension contributions reclaimable under the furlough scheme?

Yes, The Coronavirus Job Retention Schemes allows you to reclaim 80% of your employee’s gross monthly wage costs, capped at £2,500 a month. In addition, you can claim for the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and Employer pension contributions (3%) on that subsidised furlough pay.

You can’t claim for tax, national insurance, and pension contributions you make because you’ve chosen to top-up your employee’s salary.

Whether the employee continues to make pension contributions while furloughed is their choice. You may wish to communicate with them and suggest a pension payment holiday if the pension scheme allows this. Of course, if the individual opts-out of pension payments then you will not be able to claim the corresponding minimum automatic enrolment contribution under the scheme.

How do I calculate what my employee’s salary would be whilst on furlough?

You are now able to calculate both 80% and 100% reclaim and salary figures through the HMRC's calculator, which you can access here.

For those with employees who are on irregular salaries, furlough pay can be based on a previous earnings average. For employees who have been employed for a full 12 months prior to the claim, the amount is the highest of:

  • • the same month’s earning from 2019; or
  • • average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year.


For employees who have been employed for less than 12 months before the claim, the employer bases their 80% on an average of actual monthly earnings since the employee's start date. If the employee only started partway during February or March, the employer will have to make a pro-rata calculation based on their earnings so far.

If you are unable to use the HMRC calculator, login to our Furlough Portal where you can request the reclaim amount. We will be able to tell you the total amount that should be paid to your furlough employee, the National Insurance Contributions and the Pension Contributions (up to 3%).

Can I top up my employee's salary to 100%?

Yes, you may pay your employee their full salary but please note that you can only reclaim back the 80% via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and that you would be absorbing the costs of the additional 20%.

How often do I need to make a claim?

There are no fixed rules on what period you can claim for other than the claim period has to be a minimum of 3 weeks and can’t be more than 14 days in advance.

You can make multiple claims whilst your employee is on furlough. Make sure your claim periods do not overlap otherwise you will end up claiming more than you are entitled to. If you do decide to make multiple claims, we suggest that you align it with your pay periods to make managing your claims easier.

For example, if you pay your employee monthly and furloughed them on the 23rd March then we would recommend you make your first claim period 23rd March to the 30th April. Your next claim period would then be 1st May to 31st May and so on. Remember you can only make one claim at a time and you can’t make a claim more than 14 days in advance of the end of the claim period. 

When do I get repaid the money for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

HMRC says applicants can expect a payment to be in their bank account within six working days after submission of the claim. However, it adds that you should allow at least 10 working days for the payment to arrive before raising a query via the helpline due to high call volumes at its call centres.

I’m having trouble setting up my HMRC PAYE account and haven't recieved my activation code

HMRC has several different online accounts (which adds a level of complexity) however the type of account you need to reclaim furlough, is an HMRC online 'Business Tax Account' as this will give you the option to add 'PAYE for employers'.

We suggest you set-up a new HMRC online account, using the details accessible through our furlough portal. Once you are logged in to your HMRC account it should state at the very top 'Business tax account'.

If you continue to experience difficulties setting up a PAYE online account you will need to contact ‘HMRC Online Services’ who can be called on 0300 200 3600.

As for your activation code, some of our customers have been able to proceed with their claims without this. We suggest trying to continue with your claim to see if this is the case for you. If not, and after the 10 days have passed, you should raise a query via the HMRC helpline.

I’ve received an email saying I need to change my employee from a net to a gross salary. How do I calculate the difference in pay?

As the Coronavirus Job retention scheme to claim up to 80% of your employee's salary, has been set up based on a gross salary, we are calculating the conversion for net salaries and will be processing employee's salary on a gross basis for the period they are on furlough. The overall amount that you will be able to claim will not be impacted by the change in processing the salary on a gross basis.

You will need to gain consent from your employee, and we have a template you and your employee can sign.

Once this has been completed, please let us know and we can make the temporary change to a gross agreement.

The 80% calculations on my employee’s payslip is different to what the HMRC calculator is telling me. Which one should I base my claim off?

There should be no difference, therefore we would recommend you re-calculate making sure all the correct dates are entered and if the answers still do not match then submit a calculation request via the Furlough Portal.

I’m topping up my employee’s salary to 100%, do I need to let you know that they’re furloughed, and do you need to adjust their payslip, or can I just claim the 80% back from the government?

If you are covering the difference between the government grant and the normal salary, then you will not need to make any changes to your payroll however as we will show this separately on the payslips, you should still complete step one and step two in our furlough portal.

I haven't received my furlough calculation from you?

We highly recommend using the HMRC calculator to retrieve your claim amounts. You can use our full step by step 'Calculate your furlough grant entitlement' guidance in step 4 of our furlough portal.

If you are a variable customer or have required us to calculate your claim(s) please rest assured that a payroller will get back to you as soon as possible. If you are having difficulties and need assistance with your calculation please email covid19queries@stafftax.co.uk.

2. Redundancy

What happens if I cannot afford to make any contributions to my employer’s salary or bring them back part-time as part of the flexible furlough?

Part-time furlough will work for many employers, however, there will, unfortunately, be some that will need to consider the redundancy option. If you are going to make your employee redundant, please do not use the furlough portal. Get in touch with our HR team who will be able to advise on your options based on your employee's length of service, contract, and circumstances.

You should only consider redundancy an employees service is no longer required or when the job they do becomes obsolete. An Employer should first consider any alternatives to redundancy, such as reducing overtime to a workable minimum or by investigating temporary measures such as reduced working days.

It is against the law to make someone redundant due to their gender, age, race, religious beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy or maternity.

I’m thinking of making my employee redundant, will the CJRS funding cover the redundancy pay?

No, payments in lieu of notice are not recoverable from the CJRS funding.

Is my employee entitled to redundancy pay?

To qualify for Redundancy Pay the employee must:

  • • Be 18 or over.
  • • Have at least two years of continuous employment with the same family, without any breaks, apart from maternity, sickness, and unpaid leave.
  • • Be working as an employee with a PAYE Scheme and under an Employment Contract, which can be written or verbal.


How is redundancy pay calculated?

Redundancy Pay is calculated according to your employee’s age, length of service, and gross weekly pay or the current statutory rate, whichever is the lowest. Our payroll team are able to calculate the Redundancy Pay amount due or you can use the Government redundancy calculator, but as a guide, the redundancy pay entitlement is as follows:

  • • Half a week’s pay for each full year they were under 22.
  • • One week’s pay for each full year they were 22 or older, but under 41.
  • • One and half week’s pay for each full year they were 41 or older.


3. General SSP and Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme queries

What is the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?

The SSP Rebate Scheme is a scheme designed to cover sick pay, for up to 2 weeks, starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • • have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • • cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • • Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks

When did Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme start?

The online service you use to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) was launched on the 26th May 2020.

Who can use the SSP scheme?

You can use the scheme as an employer if:

  • • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
  • • you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020


You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time for that employee.

The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:

  • • full-time employees
  • • part-time employees
  • • employees on agency contracts
  • • employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
  • • fixed-term contracts (until the date their contract ends)


How do I claim Statutory Sick Pay through the Rebate Scheme?

To use the online service, you will need the Government Gateway user ID you got when you registered for PAYE Online. If you have not registered for a PAYE online account then we suggest you visit step 3 in our furlough portal for a step by step guide on how to do this.

You will also need:

  • • your employer PAYE scheme reference number - this information is accessible through the furlough portal.
  • • contact name and phone number
  • • UK bank or building society details (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted)
  • • the total amount of coronavirus SSP you have paid to your employees for the claim period - this should not exceed the weekly rate that is set - this information can be found on your employees latest payslip or by using the SSP calculator to work out the actual amount you’re entitled to claim.
  • • the number of employees you are claiming for
  • • the start date and end date of the claim period


You can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. The start date of your claim is the start date of the earliest pay period you’re claiming for. The end date of your claim is the end date of the most recent pay period you’re claiming. We also have a step-by-step claim guide to help you through the process.

Is long term sickness covered under the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?

Unfortunately, the repayment will only cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, is an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • • have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • • cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • • Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks


Under long term sickness, if your employee is still sick, you will need to continue to pay sick pay up to 28 weeks, but you will only be able to reclaim 2 weeks of it through the Rebate Scheme.

What are the periods I can claim Statutory Sick Pay for under the new SSP Rebate Scheme?

You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:

  • • 13 March 2020 - if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • • 16 April 2020 - if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus


What is the weekly rate of Statutory Sick Pay under the new SSP Rebate Scheme?

The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85.

You can pay your employee more than the statutory amount but you can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.

Use the SSP calculator to work out the actual amount.

Does my employee have to supply a doctor's note to qualify for the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme?

Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim. But you can ask them to give you either:

  • • An isolation note from NHS 111 - if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus
  • • the NHS or GP letter telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks because they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus


Do I need to keep any records of statutory sick pay?

The government advises that you must keep records of SSP that you’ve paid and want to claim back from HMRC.

  • • the dates the employee was off sick
  • • which of those dates were qualifying days
  • • the reason they said they were off work - if they had symptoms, someone they lived with had symptoms or they were shielding
  • • the employee’s National Insurance number


You can choose how you keep records of your employees’ sickness absence. HMRC may need to see these records if there’s a dispute over payment of SSP.

How does sick pay (SSP) work with coronavirus?

If your employee has been advised by Public Health to self-isolate because they fall into one of the below categories, they will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, which is currently £95.85 per week.

These include:

  • • They have been diagnosed with coronavirus
  • • They have coronavirus symptoms
  • • They have been advised to self-isolate by a doctor of NHS 111
  • • Someone within their household has coronavirus symptoms (in this case everyone within the household must self-isolate for 14 days)


What if my employee self isolates as a precaution?

If your employee chooses to self-isolate as a precaution but does not fall into one of the above categories, they can take this time either as holiday or unpaid leave.

My employee is pregnant and is classed as vulnerable so is self-isolating. What are our options?

If your employee is classed as a vulnerable person or is shielding they are entitled to furlough leave.

If they are not, and just does not want to attend the workplace due to concerns around her own health and safety it would need to be unpaid or taken as holiday. However, should the employee provide a fit note from a GP, Statutory Sick Pay, which is £95.98 per week, would apply.

Please note that it is at the employer's discretion should you wish to pay above the statutory minimums unless otherwise specified in the contract.

If you still require an employee during your normal nannies isolation period, you may take on another employee however, the employee would need to be employed on a temporary basis. For Stafftax customers, your HR advisors can draw up a contract to reflect this.

Who is liable for sick pay (SSP)?

The Government have announced that they will reimburse SSP (currently a flat rate of £95.85 per week) from day one of the Coronavirus sickness for a period of 14 days for small businesses.

Sickness unrelated to coronavirus will follow the usual rules (i.e. commencing on day 4) and will not be reimbursed by the government.

Can I reclaim Coronavirus sick pay (SSP) as a domesti employer?

If you are a Stafftax customer, we can make the changes to your employee’s payslips. As soon as we have the details of how you can claim the funding from the Government we will send you the information on the process. In the meantime, please email covid19queries@stafftax.co.uk with the below information, including your payroll number:

  • • Date the employee is off sick from (Coronavirus, self-isolated or any other another absence reason)
  • • If known, the date they will be returning to work
  • • If you would like this to be reflected in line with statutory sick pay and guidelines? If not, how much will you be paying?


What happens if my family and/or I need to self-isolate?

If you request that your employee doesn't attend work (either as a precaution or due to a member of the family falling ill with coronavirus or coronavirus like symptoms), the employee should be paid their full standard salary.

Can I take on a new employee if my current employee is off sick, or self-isolating?

Yes, you may take on another employee if your employee is off sick or self-isolating, however, the employee would need to be employed on a temporary basis. For Stafftax customers, your HR advisors can draw up a contract to reflect this.

4. Other Coronavirus related FAQs

What can you tell me about the one-off bonus of £1000 the Government have announced?

The government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021. Payments will be made from February 2021.

Further detail about the scheme are expected to be announced by the end of July.

What can I do if I'm struggling to pay my tax liabilities?

If you are concerned about not being able to pay your tax due to coronavirus, all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

This allows businesses and individuals to pay off their debt by installments over a period of time.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

You are eligible if your business:

  • • pays tax or duties to the UK government
  • • has outstanding tax liabilities


For more information or to apply for this service, please contact HMRC 0800 024 1222 or visit their website

Does an employee still accrue holiday whilst on furlough?

The Government guidance has confirmed that workers continue to accrue annual leave during furlough and they are entitled to take leave during this time.

If your employee is taking holiday, their salary should be topped IP to 100%. 80% of this can be made up of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme funding, but the other 20% would have to be funded by the employer.

Can I take on a new employee if my current employee is off sick, or self-isolating?

Yes, you may take on another employee if your employee is off sick or self-isolating, however, the employee would need to be employed on a temporary basis. For Stafftax customers, our HR advisors can draw up a contract to reflect this.

What if my employee is on maternity leave?

The normal rules for maternity and other forms of parental leave and pay apply.

You can claim through the scheme for enhanced (earnings-related) contractual pay for employees who qualify for either:

  • • maternity pay
  • • adoption pay
  • • paternity pay
  • • shared parental pay


I am a domestic employee, I have some queries how can I get in touch?

We ask that you direct your query through to your employer, alternatively contact ACAS.

What are your up and coming payroll cut of dates?

Every month we submit information to HMRC and The Pensions Regulator. To ensure the information is correct and in line with legislation please inform us of any amendments to your employee's payslips before the following dates:

Weekly payslips: 3rd May 2020 (for your payslips in May), 31st May 2020 (for your June payslips), and 28th June (for your July payslips).

Monthly payslips: 15th May 2020 (for your May payslip), 14th June 2020 (for your June payslip), and 13th July 2020 (for your July payslip).

5. Furlough Portal

I can't log in to the furlough portal as I've forgotten my password.

You can access our furlough portal without logging in. If you don’t have your login details but need your unique HMRC details you can head to step 3 where you can request these details and as long as the email address you enter matches the one we have on file, we’ll be able to return your details immediately.

My employee isn’t showing up in the furlough portal what should I do?

If your employee isn’t showing up in the Furlough Portal, you should email us at covid19queries@stafftax.co.uk as it’s likely that we’re already in the process of furloughing them.

I have ended my employee's furlough leave, but I am unable to submit this information via the portal as my employee is not listed, what should I do?

If your employee isn’t showing up in the Furlough Portal, you should email us at covid19queries@stafftax.co.uk and we’ll update the furlough manually.

I have tried to make a furlough claim, but HMRC have informed me that I am not eligible as my account wasn’t set up in time, what can I do?

Please email covid19queries@stafftax.co.uk with your payroll number and a brief explanation and a member of our team will look into this for you.

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