Further to our blog post on 5 November, when the UK Government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain open until 31 March 2021, the Government has now published detailed guidance on the extension of the scheme. The guidance is comprised of a number of different documents covering such matters as which employees can be claimed for and how to calculate the claim under the scheme.

The main points to note from the guidance are as follows:

  • For the period 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021 the Government will pay 80% of wages for hours not worked up to £2,500 per month. The employer will be required to pay national insurance and pension contributions.
  • The scheme will be reviewed in January 2021 to decide whether employers will be required to make a contribution after 31 January.
  • The scheme is open to employees (including those who have not previously been furloughed) who were employed on 30 October 2020 and also to employees who were made redundant or stopped working on or after 23 September if they are then rehired by the employer.
  • There is no maximum number that an employer can claim for. Where employers were claiming for a period that ended on 31 October 2020 they could not exceed the maximum number of employees claimed for in a claim ending by 30 June 2020.
  • Currently employers can claim for employees who are on statutory or contractual notice although the claim cannot cover redundancy payments. In addition, the employer should base statutory redundancy and statutory notice pay on the normal wage rather than the reduced furlough pay. However, the Government is reviewing this position and may change the approach for claim periods starting after 1 December, with further guidance being published later in November.
  • The employer must confirm in writing to the employee what they have been furloughed and keep a written record for five years. Employers can agree to retrospectively furlough someone with effect from 1 November as long as the agreement to retrospectively claim is made on or before 13 November.
  • All claims for periods up to 31 October must be submitted by no later than 30 November 2020. Claims from 1 November 2020 must be submitted by 11:59pm 14 calendar days after the month that the employer is claiming for.
  • HMRC have indicated that from December 2020 HMRC will publish employer names and registration number of those who have made claims under the scheme for the month of December onwards.

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