COVID-19 General Update
HMRC have confirmed that the online portal being built to process the payments of furloughed staff will be open from Monday 20 April and HMRC will be ready to make payments by Thursday 30 April.
Yesterday representatives from HMRC gave evidence to the Parliamentary Treasury Committee meeting about the Coronavirus: Job Retention Scheme (colloquially known as the 'furlough scheme'). HMRC confirmed that the online portal being built to process the payments of furloughed staff will be open from Monday 20 April and HMRC will be ready to make payments by Thursday 30 April.
It also said that its aim is to process payments within 4-6 working days of receiving the claim.
HMRC expect that most employers will submit claims within the first couple of days. The system will be open 24/7 and will allow users to 'queue' where volumes are high. They have tested the portal and are 'confident' it will cope with the volumes. It aims to publish new guidance to help organisations prepare their claim etc.
The ARMI partner scheme is aligning its response to that of the CSCS, therefore the measures that CSCS are taking are exactly mirrored by the ARCA ARMI CSCS Card Scheme.
CITB is supporting the construction industry during the COVID-19 crisis by:
Deferring the collection of 2020 Levy payments for an initial period of three months. CITB Levy bills, which are usually sent out in April and due for payment in May, will not be issued or require payment until August or possibly later this year.
Freezing the 20-week processing rule for grant claims and processing them as a priority when received
Introducing a remote learning and examination option for the following Site Safety Plus courses which can be booked using the SSP course locator:
- Health and Safety Awareness (HSA)
- Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme Refresher (SSSTS-R)
- Site Management Safety Training Scheme Refresher (SMSTS-R0
- Employers can apply for advanced payment of apprenticeship attendance grants for 2nd and 3rd year apprentices and higher level apprentices in their final year
- The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has introduced temporary changes, including enabling furloughed apprentices to continue their training, training and end-point assessments to be carried out remotely, and breaks in training due to coronavirus.
- Online functional skills videos are available
- A dedicated e-mail helpline is available for all apprentices and their employers
Expanding the Skills and Training Fund:
- Micro and small businesses can apply for a maximum of £10,000
- Medium sized businesses with up to 250 employees are eligible for up to £25,000
Providing a Leadership and Management Development Fund for large companies which will be launched on 14 April.