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Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Posted 11 Nov, 2020

The Furlough Scheme has now been extended to 31st March 2021. For November and December employers will only be asked to cover NIC and Pension contributions for hours not worked. The CJRS extension will be reviewed in January to examine whether the economic circumstances are improving enough for employers to be asked to increase contributions.

The Guidance for Extended CJRS was published on 10th November HERE. The guidance is an updated version of the original guidance with details of how to claim for periods after 1st November 2020. Of particular note is the reference period for calculating claims is prior to 18th March 2020 for people who were employed before this date. So if employees have taken cuts in hours or pay during since 19th March, this will not impact on their furlough pay.

    Some of the key points are

    • You can claim for any employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as you have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee
    • You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim for periods from 1 November 2020.
    • Employers can furlough employees for any amount of time and any work pattern
    • For periods from 1 November 2020, you will only need to pay for the cost of employer NICs and pension costs.
    • There is no maximum number of employees you can claim for from 1 November 2020.
    • Employees continue to maintain all their employment rights and accrue holiday pay as previously

    There is separate guidance detailing how the employment status of workers impacts on a businesses ability to furlough them. Information HERE Some of the key points here are:

    • For employees on Fixed Term Contracts, if fixed term contract has not already expired, it can be extended or renewed for claim periods after 1 November 2020
    • If the employee’s fixed term contract expired after 23 September, they can be re-employed and claimed for as long as the other relevant eligibility criteria are met.
    • Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst on furlough.
    • For claim periods after 1 November 2020, a new employer is eligible to claim in respect of employees of a previous business transferred if the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership. The employees being claimed for should have been employed by their prior employer on or before 30 October 2020 and transferred from them to their new employer on or before 1 September 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.
    • 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.

    There is an online calculator that will help you determine how much you can claim. Information HERE The key points here are:

    For Employees on Fixed Pay

    • the reference period is the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020 for employees who either:
      • were on your payroll on 19 March 2020, that is you made a payment of earnings to them in the tax year 2019 to 2020 which was reported to HMRC on a Real Time Information (RTI) Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before 19 March 2020
      • you made a valid CJRS claim for in a claim period ending any time on or before 31 October 2020
    • For all other employees, the reference period is the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020

    For Employees’ on Variable Pay

    • who were on your payroll on 19 March 2020, you should calculate 80% of the higher of:
    • the wages earned in the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020
    • the average wages payable in the tax year 2019 to 2020
    • For all other employees’ you should calculate 80% of the average wages payable between 6 April 2020 (or, if later, the date the employment started) and the day before they are furloughed on or after 1 November 2020.

    Once you have calculated how much you can claim, there is a separate online portal for making an application. Information HERE The cut-off dates for claims are:

    Claim for furlough days in

    Claim must be submitted by

    November 2020

    14 December 2020

    December 2020

    14 January 2021

    January 2021

    15 February 2021

    February 2021

    15 March 2021

    March 2021

    14 April 2021

    Finally, it is important to note that 30 November 2020 is the last day employers can submit or change claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.