Today (5 November), the Chancellor announced the Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been further extended until the end of March 2021.
The recently announced Job Support Scheme (Open and Closed), due to start on 1st November, falls away and is replaced by the extended CJRS.
Once again, we await full guidance. This is due to be published on 10th November 2020.
Here’s what we do know:
CJRS extended to end of March 2021.
Claims can be made in December (for November).
Eligible employees are those who were employed and on employer’s PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020.
Employees need not have been furloughed previously.
The 80% calculation of wages applies for time spent on furlough. The employer can top this up to 100%.
Maximum grant of £2,500 per month per employee .
Flexible furlough continues allowing employers flexibility for any shift pattern, including on a part time basis.
Employees should be paid for hours worked. These earnings are subject to tax, NICs and pension contributions.
Employers will pay for hours worked as well as employer National Insurance Contributions and employer pension contributions.
Employers will also pay National Insurance Contributions and employer pension contributions for hours not worked i.e. on the full amount paid to the employee, including the scheme grant.
Employer contributions will be reviewed in January
The CJRS applies to any type of employment contract, including zero hours workers.
As before publicly funded organisations are not expected to use the CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted.
Employees eligible for the extended scheme but not previously eligible, the ‘alternative’ calculations of reference pay and usual hours must be used.
For all other employees, the CJRS calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours should be used.
Those shielding / sick
Those shielding, or staying at home with someone who is shielding, can be furloughed where they are unable to work. This also applies to those caring for others resulting from Covid, including those looking after children.
The scheme is not intended for those on short-term sick absence, but are not prevented from being furloughed.
If a furloughed employee becomes sick, the employer can decide to move them on to sick and pay SSP or keep on furlough. An employee can not be on furlough AND sick at the same time – it’s one or the other.
An employee on payroll on 23 September 2020 but later leaves (due to redundancy or any other reason) can be reemployed and furloughed. A PAYE RTI submission must have been made from 20 March 2020 – 23 September 2020.
Note: the employer is not obliged to re-employ.
When on furlough
As previously, furloughed employees must not undertake ANY work for the employer. Employees can, however, undertake training, and undertake work (or volunteer) for another organisation as long as their contract allows.
Do agree the furlough terms with your employees and confirm these in writing. Do contact me if you would like an agreement drawn up. These records must be kept for five years. Record and retain records of hours worked and furloughed for six years.
Only retrospective agreements put in place up to and including the 13 November 2020 may be relied on for the purposes of a CJRS claim.
If you fancy reading further, see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extension-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/extension-of-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Please remember, all employee rights and employment legislation remains in place.
We are anticipating additional guidance to be published on 10 November. In the meantime, please let me know if you would like wording to use to explain the situation to your employees or for any additional support during these ever-changing times.
Please do call or email if you have any questions at all and don’t forget, this information is accurate as of today. Before going ahead, it’s always best to check with me for the latest information.
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