Update 12/5: The furlough scheme has itself now been extended to the end of October. It was originally intended to be open from March 1st to May 31st. The 80 percent of income cap will apply until the end of July. From August to the end of October the Chancellor requires employers allow employee's to come back to work part-time. Employers are to then pay a share of the salary with government support.
Update 17/4: The furlough scheme has itself now been extended to the end of June. It was originally intended to be open from March 1st to May 31st, but has now had an additional month added to provide further support - now running until June 30th.
The furlough scheme to pay grants to employers covering up to 80 percent of employee salaries has had an amendment made to increase its reach.
Employees had to be on a company's payroll by February 28th 2020 at the latest in order for the employer to make a claim for a furlough grant to cover their wages. However, this hard-coded date would cause a headache for people who switched jobs just after that date. Today the date has been extended by three weeks.
Now employers can receive furlough money for employees as long as they were on their payroll by March 19th 2020 - just one day before the furlough scheme was first announced. The push on the date means an extra 200,000 individuals can now be enrolled into the furlough support scheme - without having to attempt workarounds such as requesting previous employers to 're-employ' them onto an existing payroll record.
Applications will soon be able to made for support money as HMRC are close to getting their online systems in place for the wider public as beta testing comes to a close. The CJRS (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) online service should be live in just five days time with initial claims being transferred to employer bank accounts around ten days from that date.
Once the system is fully operational and initial bugs have been squashed, future claims should proceed to monies being transferred in half the time (less than six days). The government is expecting an influx of claims and have designed the system to withstand near half a million applications per hour.
Company directors are still eligible for the scheme however the amount of money they would be able to claim still appears to be limited to the amount they paid under PAYE and not amounts through dividends. This still appears to be hole in the support scheme and hopefully the government makes amendments to provide financial support for limited company directors too.