News

Coronavirus Updates

03 April 2020

Coronavirus

The Federation has been working across many strands to assist members with the Coronavirus situation. This has included producing a Toolkit of advice, lobbying for business relief and support and engaging with marketing agencies to prepare for a resumption of normal business.

Please read on for more information.

3rd April 2020 - FAQs on Job Retention Scheme

Although further details were published on the Job Retention Scheme (see 26th March below), many questions remain. The House of Commons Library has now published a detailed list of questions and answers related to the scheme. These are well worth a read here. Points to note include:

Q11. Can workers work for other employers while on furlough? A. Yes.

Q17. Do employers have an automatic right to furlough workers? A. No. You need to address this through correct methods.

Q28. Do furloughed workers have to paid the National Minimum Wage? A. No.

Please read the full PDF for details on sick leave, holidays, wage calculations, directors and more. 

1st April 2020 - National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increase today. It is important to note that any staff that are continuing to work must be paid the new rates. But, furloughed staff do not need to be paid at the increased rate. You should continue to pay furloughed staff at least 80% of their previous salary (capped at £2500 per month) based on the same period a year ago or the average of the 2019-20 PAYE year, whichever is higher. New rates here.

26th March 2020 - Updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Government has released further information on who is eligible for the scheme. The main point to note is that employees must be in the scheme for at least 3 weeks. That means they can't come in and out frequently as the business might require. 

Details on claiming have now been made available, although the online portal is not up and running yet. Employees are liable for normal tax and NIC payments but it would appear that employers will be reimbursed for Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum pension contributions.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme 

Older Updates Below

Further updated information for accommodation providers is now available here. This includes advice of serving on food in hotels.

Hotels must close

Following the Prime Minister's announcement at 8.30 tonight, the full text of guidance has been released (linked here). It indicates that all hotels should close unless they are housing key workers. A list of key workers can be found here. The guidance is that these measures are effective immediately.

More Furlough Templates

In consultation with our legal advisors, O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors, we have attached two new templates for Furloughing employees. Please amend accordingly.

Notice of Furlough & Closing Advice

We've just added a template Furlough Letter, based on information that we know to date. This could change as new guidance is published. We think holiday entitlement can be taken but this is not confirmed yet. A closing advice sheet has now been added.

Coronavirus Bulletin

See attachment (Coronavirus Bulletin) at bottom of page with a summary of support available to date.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

More details on the HMRC support package have been published. You can access it here. The summary is as follows:

  • You will need to: designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

We will look at this in more detail overnight and update tomorrow.

Staff support and bars closing

The Chancellor has just announced a major package of support for employees. He has committed to cover salaries for all employees up to 80% of salary up to £2500 per employee per month. More details on this soon - it will be administered by HMRC.

All bars, restaurants and gyms should close from tonight (Friday 20th). No Mother's Day dining or weddings. Awaiting clarification on in-hotel dining and how that will work.

Older updates have been archived to focus on latest advice.

Documents

Book a hotel

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Hospitality Exchange

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