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My Management Accountant

Returning to Work after Covid-19

CBILS covid19 pandemic

Date posted: 2020-06-08

We’re all desperately looking forward to getting our businesses back up and running following the COVID-19 pandemic. But what measures do we need to put in place to ensure our employees safety? What can we do to help with the transition? 

As lockdown comes to a close across the UK. Businesses and organisations are encouraged to get up and running again. The furlough scheme is coming to an end. And all non-essential retail outlets will be allowed to re-open in the coming weeks. Is now the right time to re-open your business premises? Can you afford to bring all of your staff back into work? We look at a few different ideas surrounding the return to work, and weigh up the pros and cons.

Do the numbers

How will the changes you need to make affect your business financially? Buying protective equipment might be a new expense for some. While for others you might require more PPE than usual. You might need to make allowances for social distancing.

For example:

  • A restaurant which could previously manage 100 covers per night might now only have space for 50.
  • You might need reduced hours or reduced numbers of staff to account for the changes in footfall in town centre retail outlets.
  • You might need additional office space to allow staff to work safely. Or you might require some of them to work from home.

There are loads of things to think about when it comes to getting your business back up and running. We can help you look at cash flow and forecasting. You might even need to apply for a Bounce Back Loan if you haven’t already.

Talk to your staff

The furlough scheme will eventually come to an end. It was originally due to end at the end of June. The government have updated the scheme to allow businesses to use the scheme until the end of October. But some things will change.

Some companies have been furloughing and unfurloughing staff on a fairly regular basis. This will have to stop from 10th June 2020. After this date, you can’t furlough any more employees for the first time. Staff that you have already furloughed will be able to go back on furlough until 30th June.

From 1st August 2020, things will start to change. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will become the Flexible Furlough Scheme.  There will be NI and Pension Contributions to pay, then employers will have to contribute to the scheme in September and October:

return to work after covid-19 end of furlough

From 1st July 2020, you’ll be able to bring your employees back part-time. The government will still top up their salaries (up to 80%). This will cover the time they’re not working.

In August, employers can still claim the 80% of wages up to the £2,500 cap but are no longer eligible to claim employer’s NI or pension contributions.

From September the percentage that can be claimed reduces to 70%, a cap of £2,187, with the employer making up the remaining 10%.

In October, the final month of the scheme, this reduces further to 60% / £1,875, with the employer obligated to pay the additional 20%.

So now’s the time to start having a chat with any of the staff that you’ve furloughed and start planning their return to work. You might be able to bring some employees back part-time. You might be able to keep the majority of your staff working from home. No doubt you’re already thinking about what’s going to work for your business.

Don’t panic!

None of us can be sure what the future holds. What we do know is that we’re still doing our best to provide an excellent service to our clients. As a technology-orientated accountancy firm, we can do most of our work remotely. We don’t currently have any plans to get back into the office. We’re one of the lucky ones, and we know that. But we’re here for you!

For our existing clients and payroll customers, we’ll discuss your return to work plan with you and carry out the paperwork involved in unfurloughing your staff. We’ll help you with your cashflow forecasting and getting your business back on it’s feet again! Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can help.

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