Furlough JRS update

Table of Contents

Furlough JRS Guidance Update

Employers can now claim under the CJRS extension. Find out what you can claim for, the latest guidance and more.
Employers across the UK can claim whether their businesses are open or closed.
How employers can claim under the CJRS extension
The extended CJRS will operate as the previous scheme did, in several respects
• Employers must report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days
• Employers will need to report actual hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period
• For hours worked, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NI Cs due on those amounts

Claims can be made:
• In respect of an employee for a minimum 7 day claim window
• In advance
• In arrears for the period from November 1, 2020 to November 11, 2020

Claims relating to November 2020 must be made by December 14, 2020.

It’s also confirmed that the claims portal process remains the same (subject to content reflecting November date ranges). Also, the content of the upload file stays the same with the 1 DO-employee limit remaining in place for now.

Employers will need to

• Pay their employees for the time worked and the government grant for the time not
• Operate PAYE on behalf of their employees, as per CJRS
• Pay employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions for their employees on the full amount that they pay the employee, including any scheme grant

Employers will not be

• Required to contribute towards 80% of the employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked
• Able to claim for employer National Insurance contributions or pension contributions.

Employers can top up employee wages above the maximum salary threshold at their own expense

For claims between November 1, 2020 and January 31. 2021 employers will be able to claim a grant for 80% of usual wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee for the time the employee spends on furlough.

Furloughed staff serving a notice period

A crucial point is the situation regarding making claims for furloughed staff who are serving their notice period. Previously there were no restrictions on this, and staff could be made redundant even if they were currently on furlough.
Now, it seems that the government are going to be a bit stricter in this regard, suggesting that from December they may prohibit claims for those who are serving notice periods.
While this has yet to be confirmed, it would be consistent with previous government plans for the furlough scheme’s planned replacement, the Job Support Scheme before it was indefinitely postponed; claims were not to be permitted for those serving a notice period.

Furlough and Maternity leave

There is also a significant change confirmed for staff who wish to return from maternity leave early to be instead placed on the Job Retention Scheme and therefore receive more money.

They now need to provide at least eight weeks’ notice of their intention to do this, and their employer cannot place them on furlough until these eight weeks are up. This does provide less freedom for staff in this position, and employers will need to make sure that all employees seeking to return off maternity leave early are aware of this.
Depending on their situation, it may be more advisable for them to remain on the leave as planned.

Furlough and Annual leave

On a more positive note, the government have clarified that rules on taking annual leave while furloughed are to remain the same; those who do take it must be paid in full for this time.

Furlough and Sick leave

They have also provided further guidance for furloughed staff who fall ill, suggesting that, generally, it will be down to employers if they keep them furloughed or class them as on sick leave and therefore start paying them SSP if they qualify.
However, future amendments to the guidance will hopefully clarify this further and employers should approach this situation with caution for now.

Furlough and TUPE staff

Another central point to consider is guidance on whether staff that has transferred over to a business under TUPE can be furloughed. As before, it seems that this will depend on when the transfer took place, critical dates for which being specified in the guidance.
Going forward, it is essential that employers familiarise themselves with this guidance as much as possible and regularly check it for updates. It should be remembered that the furlough scheme has seen numerous amendments since it was originally implemented, a trend that does seem likely to continue over the next few months.

HMRC guidance on Furlough claim

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Furlough JRS update
Furlough JRS update

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