Global Employer Services Newsletter May 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

With the ongoing pandemic there has been numerous questions posed to HMRC to seek clarity on the impact of the measures implemented on expatriate staff. HMRC has issued guidance with respect to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

Are Expats eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

Inbound expats will qualify for CJRS if the conditions of the scheme are met. The individual must be on the UK payroll, must have received a payment of earnings included on an RTI submission before 19 March 2020 and must be an employee of the UK business submitting a claim under the scheme.

Whether the individual is an employee of the UK entity is a question of fact. HMRC will accept that assigned or seconded employees who are included by an employer within a normal, Appendix 6 or dedicated expatriate PAYE scheme constitute employees of the UK entity for the purposes of the CJRS.

Does the employee have to be physically paid by the UK employer?

So long as the UK entity is the employer it doesn’t matter who physically pays the employee.

HMRC notes however that businesses should only access the scheme if they are unable to maintain their current workforce without doing so. If the UK employer can continue to successfully recharge costs to an overseas entity, then it does not need to access the CJRS and is therefore ineligible for it.

Andrew Bailey