Now that the Government has provided fuller particulars of the new  Job Retention Scheme Extended there are a few points that we would like to draw to your attention.

 

  1. Who Is Eligible?
  • The CJRS as re-engineered from 1 November allows businesses to furlough and claim grants for an additional group of employees.
  • Claims for periods starting on/after 1 November 2020 can include individuals employed at 30 October 2020 provided an RTI submission has been made between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020 notifying at least one payment of earnings for that employee.
  • Therefore, new employees hired in late spring and summer can now be eligible for furlough grants.
  • There is no requirement for either employers or their employees to have used the scheme before to be eligible for periods from 1 November 2020.

 

  1. How Long Will Support Remain At 80%?
    • CJRS has been extended to 31 March for all parts of the UK;
    • 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.
    • This policy will be reviewed in January for claims for February and March.

 

  1. Am I Limited To How Many Employees I Can Claim For?
    • When CJRS V2 was introduced from 1 July 2020, the maximum number of employees which could be included in a claim was limited to the maximum number the employer had ever previously claimed for in any single claim made for periods before 30 June 2020.
    • For claims under CJRS V3 this limit no longer applies. This will be useful to businesses who have taken on additional staff since 1 July, who would otherwise not have been able to furlough all their staff

 

  1. HMRC To Publish Employer Furlough Claims
    • From 1st December HMRC will be publishing employers furlough claim amounts within a 3 month window of the claim;
    • Details of where the Claim will be published are yet to be confirmed,
    • However, employees may be able to see how much has been claimed for them through their personal tax accounts.
    • The published data is likely to be removed after 12 months.
    • Further guidance on this to be published soon;

 

  1. Reduction in Claim Period
    • All claims have to be submitted by the 14th of the following month. 
    • There will then be a 14 day period where adjustments to the claim can be made

 

  1. Do I Need To Change Employment Agreements?
  • Yes, you should change the terms of employment contracts by agreement before furlough starts as this will be needed for new furlough arrangements.
  • Due to the rush to have everything in place for CJRS V3 in early November, it was possible to use retrospective agreements.
  • However, note that only those put in place up to and including 13 November 2020 can be relied on.

 

  1. What Has Changed To The Calculation Of Reference Pay?
    • For New Employees
      1. Reference pay for new employees (i.e. with a start date after 19th March) must be based on the last payroll before 30th October 2020.
      2. For monthly payrolls this may be the pay received on 30th September 2020 as many processing dates are set as the 31st October and therefore cannot be used as reference pay
  • Please note this does not affect the rule of being on an RTI on or before 30th October 2020 to be eligible for the scheme.
  • For Existing Employees
    1. If an employee’s contracted pay OR hours has increased or reduced since their last pay before 19th March the furlough calculation for November onwards has to be based upon their pay and hours worked before 19th March.
    2. This rule applies even if this means an employee is better off being furloughed
  • The employer will have to pay the associated employers NI and pension based on the pay/hours before 19th March and top their pay up to this amount for holiday;

Barrons has put together a helpful guide to running your business during the coronavirus crisis.