The government have announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also referred to as the Furlough Scheme – will now be continuing throughout the period 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021.
Under the newly extended CRJS from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021, employers will be able to claim for 80% of an employee’s wage costs (capped at £2,500 per month pro rata) for any hours that they do not work.
Employers are free to top up wages for hours not worked to 100% if they wish.
All UK employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE scheme can claim through the CJRS (except those who are fully publicly funded).
To be eligible under the extended scheme, an employee must have been on an employer’s PAYE payroll at 23:59 on 30 October 2020 and a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.
For claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, employers cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which the furloughed employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period for the employer (this includes people serving notice of retirement or resignation).
HMRC have confirmed that employees
can only be placed on furlough if an employer cannot maintain their workforce
because their business has been affected by coronavirus, and not just because
they are on paid leave. This also applies during any peak holiday periods in
late December and early January. If an employee is flexibly furloughed, any
time taken as holiday should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working
If a furloughed employee takes
holiday, their employer should pay them their normal rate of pay in line with
the Working Time Regulations.
For claim periods from 1 December,
employers cannot claim CJRS grants for any days that their employee is serving
a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement or
If employees were on an employers’
payroll on 23 September 2020 (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or
before 23 September) and were made redundant or stopped working for them
afterwards, they can qualify for the scheme if they re-employ them and then
place them on furlough.
Claims will need to cover a minimum period of seven days. Submission of claims opened on 10 November 2020. All claims must be for the same calendar month and each claim must be submitted by the 14th day of the following month (unless that falls on a weekend, in which case it is the next working day).
Deadlines for each claim period deadline can be found here.
If an employer underclaims through the scheme, they can only amend the claim up to 28 days after the month to which the claim relates (unless that falls on a weekend, in which case it is the next working day).
From February 2021, HMRC will publish employer names for claims (for December 2020 onwards), an indication of the value of the claim and, for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) the company registration number of those who have made claims under the scheme. The published value of a claim will be shown within a banded range.
With multiple wage support schemes being announced, all taking different forms, below helps summarise the support that has been, is and will be available to employers throughout the pandemic.
HMRC will also be improving the information available to furloughed employees by including details of claims made for them, (for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020) in their Personal Tax Account GOV.UK
If you have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, you must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
HMRC has the authority to check claims for all wage support schemes.
Grants may be withheld or need to be paid back if any claim is found to be fraudulent, based on incorrect information or calculated incorrectly. 100% penalties can and will be applied where appropriate.
Grants for the CJRS can only be used as reimbursement for wage costs actually incurred.
Employers must agree any changes to working arrangements with their employees, make any changes to the employment contract by agreement, and notify the employee in writing. This agreement must be made available to HMRC on request.
It is important that all claims are valid and are calculated in accordance with the guidance. HMRC has the ability to charge interest and penalties of up to 100% and can also use criminal powers for fraudulent claims. Even in cases of innocent mistakes, employers will be required to pay back any amounts that have been over claimed.
Crowe can assist with calculating the amounts to claim under the CJRS (or any other wage support scheme) and/or submitting the claims on your behalf, as well as any other ad hoc queries relating to the schemes.
Crowe can also offer a checking service to review claims that have already been submitted to ensure they are accurate.
If you would like any assistance with the extension of the CJRS, please speak to your usual Crowe contact.
Download our flowchart
Download our flowchart