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COVID-19: As a firm, we are heeding the Government’s advice, and the majority of our staff are now working from home.

Our offices are open to clients and visitors if you need to drop off or pick up records. Please telephone ahead to arrange a date and time so we can let our receptionists know.

It is business as usual at Lang Bennetts, so please let us know if you require our assistance. We are picking up e-mails and all our staff can be contacted via the usual office numbers.

Directors on PAYE can furlough under job retention scheme

Company directors who receive salaries through Pay as You Earn (PAYE) are eligible for furlough under the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, businesses are able to apply for government grants for employees' salaries up to the lower of 80% of an employee's regular wage, or £2,500 per month for three months from 1 March.

The scheme could run for longer if the social restrictions to help halt the COVID-19 pandemic remain in place. As with other employees, directors would need to have been on the payroll on 28 February 2020 and cannot work while they are on furlough.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) said: 'After examining HMRC guidance, ICAEW believes that individuals who are directors of their own family companies and who are themselves paid via PAYE should be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, although the same rules will apply as to other businesses and their employees.

'We are awaiting full details of how the scheme will operate from HMRC, including for directors paid via PAYE but not receiving a consistent, regular monthly salary. We understand the intention of the scheme is to include those on irregular earnings, but full details on how the amount of the grant will be calculated for these individuals have yet to be released.'