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Covid-19/Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update

27th March 2020

The Government have updated their guidance on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme

They are hoping to have the scheme set up by the end of April to support employers that have had their operations affected by coronavirus.

For all furloughed employees (employees on a leave of absence), employers will be able to claim for 80% of usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 p/m, plus an additional allowance to cover associated Employer National Insurance contributions and the minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions* on that wage. However, these payments will be based on the lower furloughed wage.

We are still waiting on further guidance from the Government on how employers should calculate their claims for Employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer contributions. Once this information is available we will provide you with a further update.

You can find out more about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here:

You must continue to pay pension contributions during this time. If you have any immediate concerns or are struggling to pay your contributions please let us know.

*Through this scheme employers will only be able to claim back the minimum contribution of 3%, if you operate a pension scheme with above minimum employer contributions you will not be able to claim for these additional amounts.

Automatic Enrolment News

Just a quick reminder that following the phasing of minimum contributions over the last three years, there is no increase to minimum contributions for April 2020.

Qualifying Earnings rates for 2020/21 have now been announced by the DWP (Department For Work and Pensions). This will affect all employers who calculate their pension contributions on a Qualifying Earnings basis. Please see below for the new rates:

Lower Level of Qualifying EarningsUpper Level of Qualifying Earnings
£6,136 p/a£50,000 p/a
£512 p/m£4,167 p/m
£118 p/w£962 p/w
Lower Level of Qualifying EarningsUpper Level of Qualifying Earnings
£6,240 p/a£50,000 p/a
£520 p/m£4,167 p/m
£120 p/w£962 p/w

These rates will come into effect from the 6th April 2020. The Upper Level of Qualifying Earnings remains unchanged for 2020/21, along with the earnings trigger which will stay at £10,000 p/a (£833.33 p/m or £192 p/w).