The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – better known as the furlough scheme – has been extended following the announcement of a new national lockdown until the end of March 2021. Employment Partner, Sean McDonough outlines the key points of the extended scheme in his latest article.
How will it work?
- Under the terms of the extension, the government will continue to pay 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a £2,500 cap but employers will take over payment of employer NI, pension contributions. This makes the scheme operate on the same terms as it did in August.
- There will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
- Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time.
- A new written furlough agreement with your furloughed employees needs to be in place that confirms the latest arrangement.
- Businesses will need to keep a copy of this agreement and all previous arrangements for a period of 5 years.
- This extended CJRS will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs.
- To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
- When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
- The grant must be paid to the employee in full with employers being able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
- Employers should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.
- Employees continue to accrue leave and are able to take leave during furlough. Employers must top up the grant to full pay for any holiday days taken.
- The delayed Job Support Scheme (JSS) will start when the extended Furlough Scheme ends. This scheme is aimed at supporting viable jobs by topping up pay for employees working reduced hours due to decreased demand.
Communication at this time is essential and so please, if you have any concerns or need clarification that what you plan to do is correct get in touch. It is better to ensure that you have this correct than risk having to re-pay any of the grant at a later time. Speak to Sean McDonough on 01225 750000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.