Furlough scheme eligibility date changed to 19 March

Many organisations have had to close and put staff on furlough.
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Employees who started new jobs up until 19 March have now been brought into the scope of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and their employers can make a claim for 80% of their wages.

The change was revealed in HM Revenue & Customs’ fourth iteration of its furlough scheme guidance, which has been published today (15 April).

It followed widespread criticism that the furlough scheme left people who changed employers after the previous 28 February cut-off date without any income.

The new eligibility cut-off date also applies to staff who have transferred from one organisation to another under TUPE.

The guidance says: “You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 19 March 2020.”

The government had previously attempted to address the loophole that left thousands without pay by stating that employers could re-employ staff who had left after 28 February and furlough them in order to provide them with some income.

The updated guidance also clarifies that individuals who were employed on 28 February, but who were made redundant and prior to 19 March, also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.

Meanwhile, a direction issued by the Treasury to HMRC today states that an employer must have instructed an employee in writing to cease all work in order for that employee to be eligible under the scheme. Previously, HMRC’s guidance said employees only needed to be notified that they needed to stop working.

Employers will be able to make a claim for 80% of employees’ wages, up to £2,500 per month, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme when its claims portal opens on Monday 20 April.

38 Responses to Furlough scheme eligibility date changed to 19 March

  1. Avatar
    Mark 15 Apr 2020 at 4:44 pm #

    I dont know how RTI submissions work but if you joined a company after 1 March as a monthly paid emplyee, surely you would not be likely to be on an “RTI” submission made to HMRC before the 19 Marc, would you? Dont most companies make their RTI submissions at the end of the month?

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      James 18 Apr 2020 at 10:31 am #

      Absolutely disgusting we need a petition

      • Avatar
        Karen 20 Apr 2020 at 2:10 pm #

        Yes a petition needs starting. I also fall foul to this, paid monthly, started in March and RTI submitted 26th March. Not had a gap in employment since I started working full time.

      • Avatar
        Karen 20 Apr 2020 at 2:16 pm #

        Yes I agree a petition need starting. I fall foul to this, started on the 18th March paid at the end of the month. RTI submitted 26th March. I have had no gaps in employment since I started working and now getting no help. The government should help everyone.

  2. Avatar
    Rob 15 Apr 2020 at 8:12 pm #

    Who does the RTI submission before month end?! My employer did their RTI on the 25th March and they’ve told me that I’m still no eligible. This really isn’t going to help anyone. Surely anyone who’s employer submitted an RTI for end of March should be eligible. Otherwise this only helps weekly paid staff.

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    Brian Sharman 16 Apr 2020 at 10:17 am #

    Surely if the RTI submission containing these employees starting in March had to be made on or before 19th March this will exclude most monthly paid employees with a start date in that month. As most employees are monthly paid and pais toweards the end of the month the first RTI submission won’t have been sent until after 19th? Am I missing something here?

  4. Avatar
    Simon 16 Apr 2020 at 10:25 am #

    Utter nonsense. 99% March starters would have been paid 31st. This update does not cover them. It is papering over the cracks and a PR exercise. I don’t know where this figure of 200,000 comes from.

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    Adam M 16 Apr 2020 at 12:17 pm #

    A complete PR stunt, pasting over cracks, mis-directing attention and allowing this like this new TUPE regulation through.

    Of the claimed “200,000” new starters this helps, approximately 85% or more (according to ASHE 2017 figures http://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/adhocs/007746annualsurveyofhoursandearningsasheproportionofallemployeejobswithweeklyfortnightlyfourweeklyandmonthlypayperiodsukapril2017) do not qualify, as they are paid and RTId post-19th of each month.
    Of those new-starters that could potentially be helped, MOST CANNOT as pretty much all employers terminated new starters contracts, and even if they were on payroll in March before this new 1/3 date, NONE of them were on the payroll on the stipulated and required 28th FEBRUARY, which is still the furlough policy to rehire someone and for them to be eligible!!!
    This does not help anyone!!
    A complete PR Stunt, my only hope is that this immovable issue is starting to build momentum and now must be addressed for what it truly is, the elephant in the room, that is effecting 100s upon 100s of 1000s of new starters & those who were about to start. Amazing how this is impacting so many employees and this still is not taking into consideration the impacts on direct families (spouses and children). This is effecting MILLIONS!!!

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      Imran 21 Apr 2020 at 2:20 am #

      I’ve recently got my contract terminated due to the crisis. My start date was 16th March and the company did try to put me on the furlough scheme but was unfortunately not eligible

  6. Avatar
    Richard 16 Apr 2020 at 3:17 pm #

    Yeah agree with the above, nothing but false hope if your paid monthly. I realised the same as I emailed my former employer, I remember the accountant saying the details from my P45 didn’t have to be sent in ( past job ) Details would be automatically be sent to HMRC and updated monthly on payroll , mine is the 25th like most are end of month, surely they new that!

    Got me happy for a few minutes though, now I have that feeling of being kicked in the guts again.

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      Lauren Findler 17 Apr 2020 at 12:10 pm #

      I feel the same was employed the 12th march get payed week in hand so wasnt payed until 21st of march its disgusting got 2 kids no money

  7. Avatar
    Roney 17 Apr 2020 at 12:21 am #

    This is funny. It would just help a very small number of March starters who started in March and got paid weekly or bi-weekly. Whoever got paid monthly at the end of the month are not being considered with this so called update. This update does not make any difference for most of the concerns.

    It is understandable that some fraudulent people will add ghost workers if the March starters were allowed. However, whoever really changed their jobs should be considered. HMRC has all the information submitted through RTI submission from all the employers. If someone got P45 from previous employer before 19th March and started new job in March 2020, should be considered for the scheme. This means those people are in employment continuously but with different employers. They deserve the support not less than anyone. They are most vulnerable to get kicked out of their new jobs as well as most of them are in probation period with their new employer.

  8. Avatar
    Mark Wood 17 Apr 2020 at 8:27 am #

    Its not just a problem for people who are paid monthly i was employed on the 16th of March my first pay packet was going to be on the 27th of March they sent through my RTI on the 25th so i do not qualify either under there new rules the whole lot is a sham and as others have stated its a PR exercise.

  9. Avatar
    Dan Joinson 17 Apr 2020 at 10:17 am #

    Absolutely disgusting. Rishi Sunak and the Government should be ashamed.

  10. Avatar
    Julian 17 Apr 2020 at 10:58 am #

    Stared work on the 15th RTI sent on the 20th talk about a kick in the teeth

  11. Avatar
    Simon 17 Apr 2020 at 12:37 pm #

    This is confusing because when you check in with HMRC they quote back that they have:

    A) Your start date (6th March)
    B) RTI date (31st March)

    Agent I spoke to thought I could be Furloughed initially, checked again and then advised I was not eligible.

    Bizarre, nothing short of a bizarre way to run a country and resolve an issue Chancellor.

  12. Avatar
    Martin 17 Apr 2020 at 2:14 pm #

    The new date re RTI is a joke surly the Govt checked with payroll companies to ask the norm date when RTI are completed which 99% say on the last day or just before the last day of the month
    There needs to be a strong petition started to sort this does anyone know of one.
    I have written to my MP today to say its a joke
    Any views or info re how we fight this

  13. Avatar
    Jessie 17 Apr 2020 at 4:51 pm #

    We need to start a petition. I started my job on March 16th(officially)(Worked my days off during my notice period, the pay date was March 27th. RTI wouldn’t have been sent until around the 24th. What a joke. They need to sort this.

  14. Avatar
    Donna Atkins 17 Apr 2020 at 6:02 pm #

    When I heard the new date I was so relieved as I started a new job on the 7th March. However, as with most employers, mine do not pay until the end of the month so this does not help me at all…. or thousands of others. I feel penalised for starting a new job.

  15. Avatar
    Tresa Spruce 18 Apr 2020 at 11:26 am #

    Spare a thought for the many self – employed who have done a whole years work (first year) and will get nothing.

  16. Avatar
    Sally 19 Apr 2020 at 2:45 pm #

    HMRC legislation quote “We are also updating you on an important change to the scheme relating to employee eligibility:
    • you can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying us of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020
    • employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to us on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.”

    So if you were on a payroll at 28th Feb 2020 but you have left before 19th March, you are able to ask your old employer to re-employ you even if the P45 has been sent. The employers are allowed to do this and claim furlough for you.

  17. Avatar
    Anjali 20 Apr 2020 at 9:48 am #

    It is absolutely a joke as I started my new job on the 11th March and my new employer’s pay date was the 9th April. Surely the HMRC is able to look in to our employment records and see that we have clearly changed jobs? I have two children and my partner is unable to work due to being an Asthma patient. Despite working my whole life and paying taxes, we have been letdown by the government.

  18. Avatar
    Ian 20 Apr 2020 at 8:17 pm #

    I have been employed and on rti returns since 2014 but my application was rejected, i am guessing because i get paid annually and this year after 19th march. Lost all faith in this government

  19. Avatar
    SK Singh 20 Apr 2020 at 8:33 pm #

    I am in situation, started working on 24th February and got my first pay on 31st March
    Have been informed by company that I won’t get furloughed pay because my PAYE WASN’t registered before 19th March.

    • Avatar
      Diane 22 Apr 2020 at 2:57 pm #

      I am also in this position but I started 26th Feb. I was told I would be furloughed but found out yesterday that the new update re: RTI submission deems me ineligible.

  20. Avatar
    annie 20 Apr 2020 at 9:56 pm #

    shocked by this – our month end date is 20th March so have a few employees started in late Feb who are not not eligible and I thought they were – this is a real shame and wasn’t clear at all.

  21. Avatar
    David 20 Apr 2020 at 10:30 pm #

    I started my new job on the16th of March and get paid monthly at the end of the month like most people….so I can’t be furloughed because you get known to the tax system with that company when you get paid at the end of the month. ( As the government well knows )

  22. Avatar
    Steve McDonald 21 Apr 2020 at 8:55 am #

    I am an employer, I’ve had my payroll running since May 2019. I went onto the government site to furlough my staff……….I am not eligible as HMRC haven’t updated there end with my details even though I have my end and set up payroll for employers at HMRC’s end. Despite having all relevant codes and numbers, in HMRC’s eyes my payroll doesn’t exist so therefore I cannot furlough my staff, so do I lay off my staff through no fault of theirs or mine. It’s a complete farce. When we do reopen, does this mean I don’t have to submit RTI’s anymore as I clearly don’t exist in the eyes of HMRC, especially as strangely none of my RTI’s are updated on my payroll for employers site that I have sent. HMRC is an 18th century relic trying to operate in the 21st century modern age. I’ve also tried all the other help, grant hasn’t come through; the CBILS loan scheme is a TOTAL FARCE, especially when my bank of 25 years claim I don’t exist at all as they have no record of me on there system!!!!, what on earth is going on??

  23. Avatar
    David Forrester 21 Apr 2020 at 1:55 pm #

    I think this is a joke I been working for the same company since August and my last wage was 7th of Feb I had work took of me for the end of Feb all March and April jobs took off me and I can’t get furloughed as I apparently missed it as I was not paid on the 28th February but if I wouldn’t of had the work took off me because of this virus then I would have been furloughed so all I can do is get universal credit at £380 a month
    That’s a weeks wage for me and I can’t get it till 11th of April no wages coming in no money been in the same job for 6 months and can’t get nothing I got a family to support and no help of anyone it’s a joke the should update the system from beginning of Feb so people can be furloughed and you try to get help of hmrc or citizens advice and say I should apply to work in supermarket as they need workers what a joke this is we will not survive these next few months

  24. Avatar
    M Porter 26 Apr 2020 at 2:36 pm #

    My daughter handed in her resignation as a dental nurse on 27 February and worked her 4 weeks notice. Her new employer said they had to defer her start date until this is over? Does she qualify to be furloughed under her previous employer?

  25. Avatar
    maggie 28 Apr 2020 at 7:22 pm #

    I Started Work From 24 Feb, How ever The payroll didi not put me on HMRC RTI submission until 31 Match Payroll Run.

  26. Avatar
    David Nicholls 30 Apr 2020 at 12:50 pm #

    ‪I was told I was being furloughed about 4 weeks ago‬
    ‪Today paid nothing‬
    ‪I have contacted my employer, they tell my that I have missed the cut of date.‬
    ‪I started work 18th of Feb not paid until 31st March so I have missed the deadline , is there anything I can do ‬

  27. Avatar
    Pram 2 May 2020 at 11:37 am #

    Sign this official govt petition lets get 100,000 signatures so it has to be debated in parliament

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/310679

  28. Avatar
    Vitor Hugo Lourenco 2 May 2020 at 9:56 pm #

    I really can not understand why the Government is not included whoever was on PAYE by the end of March!!! I was hired on February 24th, the payroll company signed me up at PAYE on March 27th so I cannot be furloughed…unbelievable!!! I have always paid my taxes and contributed to this country and it is not fair all of this!

  29. Avatar
    James 4 May 2020 at 6:06 am #

    I started my new job on the 9th off March, but not registered, till end off the month, due to monthly pay..been told will not be furlough. Stinks.so basically, I’m unemployed ,For the first time in 37 years..payed tax and insurance. All them years to pay for the unemployed, all the MP s wages, schools, etc,.now I’m on the dole. Wouldn’t no where to start ,with this universe credit, stinks.Not sleeped for weeks. You can’t even ring, dhhs up, if that’s what you call them., again stinks…