COVID-19: What to consider when making a JRS claim

What to consider when making a JRS claim

  • Caroline Laffey, Partner |

“Preparing a Coronavirus JRS claim is complex and there are key areas to be aware of ahead of submission”

In our latest video, I provide insight on what companies should think about when considering the JRS.

Reputation 

“As you make decisions, bear in mind that they will, in all likelihood, be judged with the benefit of hindsight and against the actions of your competitors.”

Before making a claim, organisations should consider what it will mean for their brand reputation, what the impact of COVID-19 is on their business and any scrutiny it may bring their way in the future – for example, on executive pay or dividend policy. If, like some employers, you decide to withdraw from the scheme, clearly explain why to protect the credibility of your corporate governance structure.

Keep a record

“Think about who might review your claim.”

Your claims are not limited to review from HMRC. Scrutiny may also come from your auditors, during due diligence in a transaction and even the press. Document all key decisions, who made them and why. 

If you do make a claim, reconcile this to payroll, payments to HMRC and your pension provider. Retain the evidence in a single place and ask somebody to carry out an independent review to check that it will withstand scrutiny.

New guidance

“As new guidance emerges, revisit your claims.”

Monitor your claims and as new guidance emerges identify whether action is needed with regard to recent changes to employer NICs, overtime, commission and allowances. As HMRC has now introduced a process for making amendments where employers have over-claimed, you should consider whether this is appropriate.  We await guidance for employers that have under-claimed.

Communicate with employees 

“Without furlough you have no claim.”

The furlough scheme instructions state that employees on the scheme should cease work and retain evidence that this has happened so that you can prove they were correctly furloughed if later challenged. Communicate with employees, and make sure they are clear on the furlough instructions.