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Directors and furloughing

Based on the latest available guidance Directors can be furloughed provided they meet the definition of who can be furloughed e.g. must be an employee on PAYE and on the payroll on 28 February 2020.

Some directors will meet the PAYE criterion, some won’t. Directors will only get 80% of basic pay though, and they can’t do any work for the business during furlough.

An HMRC spokesperson confirmed: ‘People who are paid a salary by PAYE can be furloughed for the job retention scheme but dividends are not covered by that or the self-employed scheme.’

As the majority of directors operating through their own limited companies (including those operating PSCs) paid themselves a monthly PAYE salary of around £719 in the 2019-20 tax year, they will be eligible to around £575 a month in financial support from the government. This means that directors of limited companies would be able to claim 80% of their PAYE payments, but would not be able to work while doing so, and their dividend payments which make up the bulk of their income will not be taken into account.

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