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COVID-19

Legislative Updates

 

We continuously monitor the announcements by the governments of the UK and Republic of Ireland which may affect our customers during the pandemic.

Below is a short summary of the major changes to date (information correct as 22nd December 2020.)

 

 

 

1. Changes to UK Legislation

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), including flexible furlough

The CJRS was introduced in March 2020 to support employers whose operations were severely affected by coronavirus. It reimbursed certain salary and wage-related expenditure when employers needed to place employees on furlough.

Working closely with HMRC, we released a number of ResourceLink updates that enabled our customers to process furlough payments through their payroll software, and we adapted the new functionality as the CJRS rules changed.

The CJRS was originally due to end on 31st October 2020 but has since been extended multiple times. The scheme is now available until 30th April 2021, with the government funding 80% of furloughed employee’s wages capped at £2,500 per month.

More information on the CJRS can be found on the government website.

Job Retention Bonus

As announced on 8th July 2020, the government intended to support employers through a new Job Retention Bonus. This was due to be in the form of a one-off payment to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains in employment until 31st January 2021.

However, as a result of the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to 30th April 2021, guidance relating to the Job Retention Bonus was withdrawn from 5th November 2020. An alternative may be put in place at a later date, and we’ll update this page accordingly.

More information on the Job Retention Bonus can be found on the government website.

Job Support Scheme 

With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme originally due to end in October 2020, the government announced the introduction of the Job Support Scheme to protect viable jobs in businesses affected over the winter months as a result of coronavirus restrictions. The scheme was due to open on 1st November 2020 and run for six months.

However, as a result of the extension of the CJRS to 30th April 2021, guidance relating to the job support scheme was withdrawn from 1st November 2020.

More information on the Job Support Scheme can be found on the government website.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

A new statutory instrument (2020 No. 287) was introduced to address SSP changes to cope with the outbreak of coronavirus-related illnesses and self-isolation. The Department for Work and Pensions followed this up by confirming that, with effect from 13th March 2020, the 3-day waiting period for SSP is temporarily abolished for at least 8 months.

We delivered a ResourceLink software update to process these new rules.

Online sick notes

As of 20th March 2020, the government is operating a service to automate the issuing of sick notes via NHS 111. Under the new system, people can provide a note to their employer as evidence of absence from work, without having face-to-face contact with GP services.

2. Changes to Republic of Ireland Legislation

Changes to Illness Benefit

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection announced changes to Illness Benefit, including the removal of waiting days for coronavirus-related absences, and an increase in the rate of payment.

We delivered a ResourceLink software update for customers who run Republic of Ireland payrolls and who use the Illness Benefit deductions against the sickness scheme via Leave Management.

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)

The TWSS was introduced in March 2020 to allow employers to continue paying their employees during the coronavirus pandemic. We made a number of ResourceLink updates available that enabled our customers to administer the TWSS through their payroll software.

It closed on 31st August 2020 and no new applications were accepted from that date. From mid-September 2020, Revenue began accepting reconciliation CSV files from employers who used the TWSS with the details of the actual subsidy paid to each of their employees per payslip. The deadline for submitting these returns is 31st October 2020.

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

The EWSS was introduced on 1st September 2020 to replace the TWSS. The purpose of the EWSS is to subsidise employment creation, by way of a grant to a firm, whose turnover is 70% or less than pre-pandemic levels, for each employee. It ran in parallel with TWSS from 31st July to provide additional flexibility to employers with new hires and seasonal workers who were not previously eligible to be paid via TWSS and who may now qualify for EWSS. 

We made ResourceLink software updates available to enable customers to process EWSS.

Further information and support

We will continue to watch carefully for new developments as the COVID-19 situation unfolds, and adapt our approach accordingly. Please continue to check the Zellis website, the Zellis support portal (if you are a Zellis customer), and our email communications for further updates, advice and information.

We also want to remind you of our services which can provide additional payroll and HR administration support during this time. Visit our page on coronavirus to find out more about the ways we can help.

We also advise you to look at official government resources to find out more about how you can receive additional business support:

If you are already a Zellis customer, for specific requests and urgent support, please contact your Account Manager in the first instance.