I continue to be astonished as to how many people are reading these musings, and even more so about how controversial they are becoming.
Controversy number 1- how many editions will there be in volume 1 before it becomes volume 2. In the old days this was easy - when the the folder got full we moved on to the next one. Not sure about how this works in terrabit sized disks...
Controversy number 2- which is far more disturbing - is the debate of exactly what I meant in last night's edition - I said I had been out on an allowable dog walk 'wearing only a T shirt and sunglasses'
The debate has veered from the one side that I didn't meanexactlywhat I wrote, to the other side that I am practising some sort of bizarre way of enforcing social isolation. I'll leave you to ponder which it is. But perhaps best to avoid Old Newton just in case
Remember, if you have 'missed' any previous editions, they can be found at
What are my positives today:-:
1. We're locked down in Suffolk - a good place to be. The sunshine in a spring garden, which normally goes unadmired as we fly past on our busy schedules, is something to behold.
2. Is it my imagination, or are people becoming friendlier ?
Whether that is a 5 metre 'hello' across the road, or more appreciation being shown for what is being done, it's my perception that we're getting to be a less stressy nation.
3. The Hallway is half done
You'll have to follow the saga to pick up on this. One wall completed (Lizzie's), picture below. Just one to go (Charly's)
And what am I talking to clients about today ?
Furloughing update (sorry, again) - it's quite clear that those in charge of developing this new scheme are making it up on the hoof. I understand that.
And as far as I can see, they are making it up without talking to anyone who knows how payrolls are run. Which I don't understand
Up until today it has been the published position that for an employee to be furloughed they had to have been on the payroll on the 28th (or 29th, there has been some conflicting guidance) of February.
So employing a new member of staff, starting them in good faith on the 1st March, finding yourself closed down or short of work later in the month meant you couldn't furlough them.
The gem that slipped out from HMRC this afternoon said this:-
"... following a review of the delivery system and to ensure the scheme helps as many people as possible, new guidance published today has confirmed the eligibility date has been extended to March 19 2020– the day before the scheme was announced.
Employers can claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.
This change makes the scheme more generous while keeping the substantial fraud risks under control and is expected to benefit over 200,000 employees."
All well and good, I think we understand what that means - or at least the sentiment that was intended. Except note the part that I've put in bold.
Most employers run monthly payrolls, and most employers run their monthly payrolls during the last week of the month - which for March will be sometime between the Monday 23rd and Tuesday 31st.
Now, as those who operate payrolls will know, you only notify HMRC of a new joiner through an RTI return when you run the first payroll on which they appear. Which using the dates I've just outlined, will be after the cut-off date.
So the only people who willactuallybenefit from this will be those on weekly payrolls, the minority of employers.
The other Hot Potato has beenMartin Lewis' suggestion that you could be furloughed as a director and then immediately commence the same business as a sole trade. Again, without the law I can't see that there's anything stopping this, but it seems to me to be really sharp practice. I'd be surprised if it were allowed when we eventually see the small print.
Stay safe, until tomorrow
One wall down, one to go...the middle section has a framed picture to go over it