Can directors, partners or those working under umbrella companies be furloughed?
Yes. The updated government guidance has confirmed that office holders (including company directors), salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) individuals working under umbrella companies (including agency workers) and individuals who are classified as ‘workers’ rather than employees can be furloughed but only to the extent that they are paid via PAYE. Therefore director’s fees can be claimed (subject to the cap) but dividends are excluded, as are bonuses and commission payments.
Those who are paid annual are now eligible to make a claim, subject to meeting the remaining requirements. This includes being notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 which relates to a payment of earnings in the 19/20 tax year.
The decision to furlough a director or office holder should be adopted as a formal decision of the company or LLP which should be minuted and notified in writing.
Company directors can only undertake work to fulfil a duty or other obligation arising from an Act of Parliament relating to the filing of company accounts or provision of other information relating to the administration of the director’s company while furloughed and they cannot carry out work that would generate revenue or perform services to or on behalf of their company. This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC).
You should have in place a dispute resolution procedure that sets out the appeal process or contractors or the agency as appropriate. You must respond to an appeal within 45 days.
If the status determination is disputed you should consider the contractor or agency’s reasons objections. You must consider if the original determination is to be maintained and give reasons for this. Or a new determination with reasons can be provided if appropriate.
Records of disputed determinations and the outcome of any appeal should be kept.Read more about this
The CMA sees only limited circumstances in which a full refund would not be given. The CMA accepts that where public health measures prevent a business from providing a service or the consumer from receiving it, the business may be able to deduct a contribution to the costs it has already incurred in relation to the specific contract in question.
This view reflects a relatively complex area of law under which parties are released from obligations under a contract if performance of that contract becomes impossible or illegal. This is called “frustration” of the contract. Under a law passed during World War II, a party to a contract that is frustrated who has incurred expenses is permitted, if the court thinks fit, to retain an amount up to the value of those expenses out of any money they have been paid by the other party.
The CMA’s view, however, is that this will not happen often, and that deductions from deposits will be limited.Read more about this
If you are eligible you will get a taxable grant of 80% of the average profits from the following tax years (where applicable):
HMRC will add the total profit in each of the three tax years (if applicable). This will then determine the monthly payment, subject to the cap of £2500.Read more about this
An employee can refuse to attend work but their refusal to do so will have to be based on a reasonable belief that their health and safety is in danger. Whether or not their refusal is reasonable will take into consideration factors such as the employee’s own health and whether they are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract Covid-19 and the steps their employer has out in place to mitigate the danger of contracting Covid-19 at work.
In such circumstances where the employee’s belief is deemed to be reasonable, they will be entitled to stay at home and receive full pay.
If an employee is subsequently dismissed for refusing to attend work in these circumstances, they may be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.Read more about this
In our latest “in conversation” webinar we discussed the outlook for the corporate transaction market. Whilst it would be a brave person to predict the future of anything at the moment given current circumstances, we were joined by two organisations who are very well placed to provide their views.
John Laud, Head of Corporate Banking for North and West Yorkshire for Barclays, his colleague Stephen Loureda from their Credit Analysis Team, and Jill Williams, Investment Director of Mercia Asset Management’s Growth Fund, were in conversation with Ward Hadaway corporate partners Adrian Ballam and Jonathan Pollard to share their thoughts about how the ‘new normal’ for the transactions market may look:
- With supply chain and forecast prediction challenges, how will banks and investors determine what represents a sound opportunity?
- How will distressed and opportunistic acquisition opportunities be funded, and what is investor appetite for such opportunities?
- How have seller and buyer pricing expectations been impacted as a result of the pandemic?
- How are funders reacting, and how should ambitious businesses respond to the very low, or even negative, interest rates?
We expect this video to be of real value to those businesses whose plans of buying, selling or investment may have been impacted by the current economic crisis, but who are looking at opportunities to determine how they may shape their futures – #gettingbacktobusiness.Read more about this