The Positive Accountant - Vol 1, Ed 7 Over the last week I've had a (small) number of emails criticising what I'm doing with these posts, accusing me of making light of a serious situation. Please be assured that this isn't my intention at all. I am not trying to play down the seriousness of a worldwide emergency, nor am I making light of the excellent efforts of our armed forces/emergency services/NHS in fighting it. I haven't criticised our political leaders. I also fully appreciate that there are real people dying, with devastating cost to their families. What I am trying to do is in some tiny way to bring some happiness and positivity to a dreadful situation by using small examples of good things that are happening in my life. If anybody wants to know how desperately serious and tragic this all is, that is the role of the mainstream media (which I read and watch, just like the rest of you). So, whilst I am deeply sorry if I have caused offence to anyone, I will be carrying on issuing these emails and will be writing them in the same vein. Moving swiftly on, what are my positives today:- 1. I received a very funny email. It wasn't meant to be that funny, I'm sure. It was from Andrew of Ipswich, I won't embarrass him by saying what he does. It says:- ' Dear Adrian, Thank you so much for your Positive Accountant email/blog. I look a tit every day.' How does one respond to this ? 2. I met a new client today. Which proves that life kind of carries on. When I say met, it was a FaceTime meet, the first time I'd had an introductory meeting like this. On a similar vein, I heard a psychologist on the radio last week talking about how it is possible to date by FaceTime. I don't how that would work if the date were set up through Tinder ? 3. We had a really good Video Conference this morning on Government support for business. With over 30 slated to attend it had the potential for anarchy. But everyone behaved, it was really constructive, we covered what we know of what is going on, and I will maintain this type of initiative. We need it. One from someone else, Mrs L, who at 98 is not only my oldest client but is also the mother of my longest term client (for whom I started acting in 1990). Mrs L tells me that she isn't stockpiling loo roll, but as an alternative is keeping hold of as many old newspapers as she can, like they did in the War ! So what are the things I'm talking to clients about today:- The biggest issue by far is furloughing employees, and because of its significance I will only talk about that one point. Although the rules have yet to be drafted (or at least see the light of day), the way it works is that the employer lays off - 'furloughs' - the employee, but continues to pay them anything between full pay and 80% thereof. Whilst the employee is not able to do any work for the employer (otherwise they are not furloughed), the employment relationship is maintained (no redundancy pay) When the government scheme is launched (HMRC are saying they expect end of April), the government will reimburse the employer 80% of the full salary, up to £2,500 per employee per month for three months. Furloughing can be backdated to 1st March, but be careful, the warning exists that it changes the employees' employment status and therefore HR advice is recommended... What we don't know is:- (a) when exactly it will be in place (b) how exactly it will get reported (c) what policing there will be to ensure the furloughed employee isn't doing any work for the employer (d) how variable/zero hours contracts will work (e) whether company cirectors/shareholders/family members are allowed to be furloughed (f) lots of other things that I haven't thought of Watch this space as matters develop. Until tomorrow, stay safe Adrian Mole This mug was purchased for my 50th Birthday last year by some very dear friends/clients I've used it pretty much every day since. Today the words on it hit me, how true.