New starters in job retention scheme boost

Changes to the coronavirus job retention scheme to include recently-appointed employees have been announced.

The scheme, which covers 80% of workers' pay up to £2,500 a month, initially applied to employees who went through payroll on 28 February 2020.

As a result, employees who started new jobs after this date were unable to be furloughed by their new employers.

Around 200,000 new starters who were on payroll for 19 March 2020 - the day before the scheme was announced - are now eligible.

However, new starters who were put on the PAYE system after 19 March 2020 are not covered by the extension.

Employers need to have made HMRC aware that a new starter was on the payroll before 19 March 2020.

This is done through the real-time information system, which notifies the Revenue when an employee is paid.

The Government is under pressure to clarify whether the scheme will be extended beyond the initial deadline on 1 June 2020.

A Treasury spokesperson said:

"The scheme is open for an initial three months and we hope conditions will improve sufficiently during this period.

"However, the Chancellor has been clear he will review extending it for longer if necessary."

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