Extension to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The Chancellor has announced that the CJRS will be extended to March 2021. The scheme will be reviewed in January 2021 when the level of government support may taper down with an increased requirement on employers to contribute.
The Job Support Scheme (JSS) has been postponed until further notice and the Job Retention Bonus will be replaced with a ‘retention incentive’ to be paid out at an ‘appropriate time’. Further details of this are expected.
All UK employers are eligible for the extended CJRS and can bring employees back to work on a part-time basis or furlough them full time. Employers are asked to cover NI and pension contributions and are expected to pay employees for hours worked. Applications can be made from 11 November so there will be a short period during which the online system will be updated and employers will not be able to submit claims. During this period (ie from 31 October to 10 November) employers must pay employees and will be able to claim the grants in arrears.
The government will pay 80% of wages for hours not worked up to a cap of £2,500. The method for calculating usual hours will be largely the same as under the CJRS previously. Employers must report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
To be eligible, employees must have been on their employer’s PAYE payroll by midnight on 30 October 2020 and a Real Time Information (RTI) submission must have been made notifying a payment for that employee between 20 March and 30 October 2020. Employees do not need to have been claimed for under the CJRS previously.
Employers can also re-employ employees who were on their payroll on 23 September 2020 but were made redundant or stopped working for them after that date. Employers may wish to take advice before doing this as employees who are brought back may retain continuity of service and they could accrue unfair dismissal and redundancy rights before the end of the CJRS in March 2021.
As has been the case since the CJRS was first announced, employers should keep records of all grants claimed under the scheme as HMRC will continue to check claims. Importantly, employers should confirm arrangements in writing to their employees. Agreements can be backdated to 1 November but any such retrospective agreements must be in place by 13 November.
Further guidance will be published and we will keep you up to date with this. In the meantime the government has published a fact sheet which can be accessed here.Back to news list