Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as of 12th November 2020 following published HMRC Guidance
13th November 2020
The government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ‘CJRS’ until 31 March 2021 and has now provided updated guidance with some key points below
- The Job Support Scheme has now been postponed. The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021.
- From 1 November, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, hence the scheme is more generous than the scheme running in September and October. The UK Government will review the policy in January.
- Employers can agree to furlough someone retrospectively from 1 November 2020 but the agreement to do so must be in place by Friday, 13 November 2020.
- There are now monthly deadlines for claims. Claims for period on/after 1 November must be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, unless this falls on a weekend in which case the deadline is the next weekday.
- Employers and their employees do not need to have used the scheme before to claim for periods from 1 November.
- From December 2020 HMRC intend to publish details of employers who use the scheme for claim periods from December, and employees will be able to find out if their employer has claimed for them under the scheme.
- Employers to submit any claims for periods up to 31 October on or before 30 November. Claims for periods up to 31 October will not be accepted after 30 November. Claims are subject to eligibility and the rules in force at the time.
- Redundancies should be done in accordance with the normal rules. You can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period, however grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments. The government is reviewing whether employers should be eligible to claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, with further guidance published in late November.
For claim periods after 1 November 2020
- If you made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 23 September 2020 you can re-employ them and put them on furlough. This applies as long as the employee was employed by you on September 23 and you made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.
- Employers can claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as they have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.
- Employers must have confirmed to their employee in writing that they have been furloughed. You must:
-make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
-keep a written record of the agreement for five years
-keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed
- Employees can be on any kind of contract fixed term, zero hours, apprentices, company directors and also agency workers who can be furloughed through their agency.
-fully furlough employees – they cannot undertake any work for you while furloughed full time
-flexibly furlough employees – they can work for any amount of time, and any work pattern but they cannot do any work for you during hours that you record them as being on furlough
- There is no minimum furlough period, agreed flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time.
- Employees returning from maternity leave need to give the statutory eight weeks’ notice to end maternity leave early in order to be furloughed (and get furlough pay, typically higher than SMP).
When your employees are on furlough
- During hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, you cannot ask them to do any work for you that:
-makes money for your organisation
-provides services for your organisation
- Your employee can:
-take part in training
-volunteer or work for another employer (if contractually allowed)
Maximum number of employees
- For claims between 1 July 2020 and 31 October 2020, the claim cannot exceed the maximum number of employees you claimed for under any claim ending by 30 June 2020.
- There is no maximum number of employees you can claim for from 1 November 2020.
If you’ve made your employees redundant
- Where you must make redundancies, you should do so in accordance with the normal rules.
- You can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period, however grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.
- The government is reviewing whether employers should be eligible to claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, with further guidance published in late November.
- Furloughed employees continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract.
Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough. If an employee is flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.
If your employee is self-isolating or on sick leave
- They may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not intended for short-term absences from work due to sickness.
- If employers want to furlough employees for business reasons and they are currently off sick, they are eligible to do so. The employee should no longer receive sick pay.
- Employers can furlough employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable, at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus or off on long-term sick leave.
If you would like to talk to us about how the CJRS may work for your business or want assistance with the claims then please get in touch with
Mark Hook firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Nicholls email@example.com
or call us on 0116 282 7000