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On 5 November 2020, the Chancellor announced that the CJRS was to be extended and will now run until 31 March 2021. At the same time, both the proposed Job Support Scheme and the Job Retention Bonus were postponed.
The full details of the scheme, which are very detailed, can be found on GOV.UK here
The key features of the extended CJRS are:
- Employees can be flexibly furloughed – so they will be permitted to work part time and be paid their usual salary for those hours, while receiving furlough pay at 80% for their unworked hours.
- Employees are entitled to 80% of the current salary for hours not worked up to a maximum cap of £2,500 per month.
- Employers can claim support for 80% of the employee’s salary for unworked hours, but must pay any associated employers National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions. The amount of support for employers will be reviewed in January 2021 and may be reduced at that point.
- Employees who are required to shield or have childcare responsibilities can be furloughed.
- Claims should start and end in the same month.
- Claims should run for a minimum period of 7 consecutive days unless they relate to a short period at the start or end of a month.
- The claim portal opened on 11 November and employers will be able to claim up to 14 days in advance of making payments to staff.
- As under previous schemes, employees cannot do work for their employer during furloughed hours.
- Employees can however: take part in training, volunteer for another employer or organisation or work for another employer (if contractually allowed)
So in general the CJRS will operate very much the same as previously
The key differences to note are:
- Employees do not need to have been furloughed prior to 1st November 2020.
- HMRC will be publishing employer names for companies who make claims under the scheme from December onwards to reduce fraud, and is proposed that employees will be able to see if claims have been made in respect of them.
- The window for claims now closes 14 days from the end of the month – unless employers have a reasonable excuse for not doing so .
- Employers will now only have 28 days from the end of the month to increase the value of their claim if they realise they have underclaimed.
- Employees must be on the employer’s payroll for the employee at some point between 20 March and 23:59 on 30 October 2020 to be eligible for support.
- All employees on any contract are eligible – including company directors
- This scheme will now include individuals who started work after the 19th March 2020 who were excluded from earlier schemes.
Employees re-employed by their employer
- Employees that were employed and on payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. A PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, must have been made for any such individuals notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
- Similarly, an employee who was on a fixed term contract, on payroll on 23 September, and that contract expired after 23 September can be re-employed and claimed for, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met.
Agreeing the arrangements with your employees
Employees must agree to being fully or part furloughed and you must confirm details of their new terms and conditions in writing.
If you need any help with employee agreements, have any concerns at all as to whether you can claim for staff, what to do about holiday leave and pay, how to deal with employees returning from periods of parental leave any issues at all please get in touch.
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DISCLAIMER: The materials in this guidance are provided for general information purposes and do not constitute legal or other professional advice. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances may impact the accuracy and validity of the information. Turnstone HR cannot be responsible for any errors or omissions, or for any action or decision taken as a result of using the guidance. You should consult with us first for advice where appropriate