Updated guidance regarding the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Category: Employment

Last night (10 November 2020), the government updated its guidance online which can be found by clicking the logo below.

Below, we summarise the the most important points of the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) guidance for you:

  • As before, businesses can use the scheme ‘if you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by COVID-19’.
  • You can claim for employees that you have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC for between 20 March 2020 – 30 October 2020. You do not need to have previously furloughed the employee to claim under the extended scheme.
  • Claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020 must be submitted by 30 November 2020.
  • You’ll be able to make claims for periods starting on or after 1 November 2020 from today (11 November 2020).
  • The extended scheme will remain open until 31 March 2020. For the period 1 November 2020 – 31 January 2021, the Government grant will be 80% of wages. These will be capped at £2,500. Employers will be required to pay NI contributions and pension contributions. We are therefore expecting to see some shift in contributions from 31 January 2021.
  • If you don’t have an agreement with your staff in place but are planning to claim for the period from 1 November 2020, you must put that retrospective agreement in place by 13 November 2020.
  • You can still fully furlough and flexibly furlough staff. Furlough arrangements can last for any amount of time. However, the claim period continues to be for a minimum of 7 calendar days. Also, there is now no maximum for the number of employees you can claim for.
  • You can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period. However, a word of warning! The Government is reviewing its position on this. It will likely change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020. We’ll publish further guidance as soon as the Government does (likely to be late November 2020).
  • Staff can continue to take holiday during furlough (paid at their normal rate of pay).
  • From December 2020, HMRC will publish names and registration numbers of companies and LLPs that have made claims under the scheme for the month of December onwards.
  • 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 (you must have made an RTI submission for them between 23 March – 23 September 2020).
  • You can furlough staff who are shielding in accordance with public health guidance. This is also the case if they need to stay at home with someone who is shielding. Finally, if they have caring (including childcare) responsibilities arising from COVID-19.
  • You can furlough staff on long-term sick leave. This can be done if there is a business reason for doing so.

You can click this link to download a printable version of this article.

Our Employment team is here if you need help with anything related to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. They have new furlough agreements that can be used and are also on hand if you have any questions. You can reach them by calling 01752 827081 or emailing [email protected].