Furlough Scheme extended
Nov 11, 2020
The Coronavirus Job Retention furlough scheme was due to end on 31 October 2020, and be replaced by a new Job Support Scheme (JSS). However, when the Prime Minister announced a second month-long lockdown for England, he also declared that the CJRS furlough scheme would be extended. Initially this was only until December, but the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has since announced that it will last right through until the end of March 2021. This means that as an employer you’ll be able to claim a grant for up to 80% of your employees’ usual pay, for the hours that they are unable to work.
How the extended furlough scheme works
The good news for employers is that the extended CJRS will offer the flexibility of either full-time or part-time furloughing – you can use your staff for any amount of time and following any shift pattern as part of the revised scheme.
For claim periods running to January 2021, employees on any type of contract can receive 80% of their current salary for their usual hours which are not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. When making a claim you will need to report the hours your employee has worked, and the usual hours they would normally be expected to work, in any one claim period. Any claims you make must be for a minimum of seven consecutive calendar days.
You will need to pay your employees as normal for the hours that they do work. For any unworked hours, you will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions, which average about 5%. As before, you can choose to top-up your employees’ wages above the 80% granted by the government.
Who is eligible?
There is no need for either you or your employee to have used the furlough scheme before, in order to be eligible to use it this time round.
If you have any employees who were made redundant, or who stopped working after the Job Support Scheme was announced on 23 September, you can re-employ them and put them forward for furlough grants.
However, if you are claiming for a period that starts on or after 1 November 2020, then you can only claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on your payroll on 30 October 2020. This means that you must have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
How and when do I make a claim?
The extended CJRS will operate as the previous scheme did – after you’ve calculated your employees’ payroll, furlough claims will be paid based on claims you submit through the HMRC portal.
The system will be open for claims from 8am Wednesday 11 November, and claims for the November pay period must be made by 14 December 2020. Subsequent claims should be submitted by the 14th of the following month.
You can continue to claim for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020, but the deadline for submitting these claims is 30 November 2020.
The policy on the extended furlough scheme is due to be reviewed in January, when the government will decide if economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more..
Meanwhile, the Chancellor has also confirmed that the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which had been due to launch on 1 November, will be redeployed “at the appropriate time”. It was also confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021, as CJRS will be available at that time. An alternative retention incentive will be put in place at a suitable time.
If you have any questions about the extended CJRS and how to go about making a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team and we’ll be happy to help.