We are gathering information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and updating this page as it is released from the government. The latest announcements are also covered in our blogs. 

Changes to the CJRS from 1 July

The staged way in which the government is changing the support given to employers through the furlough scheme, means that there are necessary rule changes regarding CJRS claims.

Important cut off dates

As the CJRS is changing from 1 July, 30 June is an important cut off date. Furlough claims for any periods starting before 1 July must end on or before 30 June. That means if you have a furloughed employee in June that you intend to keep furloughed in July, you will need to make two separate claims. One to cover the days in June, and another to cover the days in July. You will need to claim for periods ending on or before 30 June by 31 July. The CJRS scheme will end on 31 October.

Claims within the calendar month

Claim periods starting on or after 1 July must start and end within the same month and must cover at least 7 days, unless you are claiming for the first or last few days in a month and you have already claimed for the period ending immediately before it.

You can only make one claim for any period, so make sure you include all furloughed or flexibly furloughed employees in one claim, even if you pay them at different times. Claims cannot overlap, and must be continuous with no gaps in dates.

You can usually make your claim up to 14 days before the end of your claim period end date and you do not have to wait until the end of a claim period to make your next claim. So, claims for periods after 30 June, can be made from 1 July.

Record hours worked

Flexible furlough claims must contain details of usual hours, usual hours worked, and hours furloughed. The furlough period can vary from day to day or week to week, but accurate records – in hours – must be maintained. You should not claim until you are sure about the numbers of hours employees are working during the claim period. If you overclaim, you will have to repay HMRC.

HMRC has issues guidance and examples on claim periods, calculating wages and usual v furloughed hours.

Maximum number of furloughed employees

You cannot claim for more employees in periods starting after 1 July, than the maximum you have claimed for under any period up to 30 June. This may differ where you have an employee returning from statutory parental leave.

 

CJRS Scheme overview

Updated 1 Sept 2020 

If Covid-19 has affected your business, you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs, where you record them as being on furlough. Until 30 June, employees had to be fully furloughed for a minimum period of 21 days with no work allowed.

From 1 July furloughed employees could be brought back for any amount of time or work pattern, while still being able to claim for hours not worked. There is no minimum furlough period. This is the concept of flexible furloughing. It is only  available for employees that have been furloughed for at least three weeks between 1 March and 30 June. This may differ if you have an employee returning from parental leave or who is a military reservist.

From 1 Aug, employers were asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages, paying Employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions. To be eligible for the grant employers must have continued to pay their furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed. 

From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours an employee is on furlough. Employers must top up employees’ wages to ensure employees receive 80% (up to £2,500) of their wages for the time they are on furlough. The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. As before, employers can only claim for employees previously furloughed for 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June and for whom they had claimed before 31 July, with the exception of those returning from parental leave or a military reservist.

What can you claim?

Wage caps are proportional to the hours an employee is furloughed. For example, an employee is entitled to 60% of the £2,500 cap if they are placed on furlough for 60% of their usual hours:

  • There are no changes to grant levels in June.
  • For June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours the employee is on furlough, as well as employer National Insurance Contributions (ER NICS) and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work.
  • For August, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough.
  • For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
  • For October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.

Who can you claim FOR?

From 1 July, only employees that you have successfully claimed a previous CJRS grant for will be eligible for further grants under the scheme. That means they must have been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks between 1 March and 30 June and you must have submitted your claim for this before 31 July.

You cannot claim for more employees in periods starting after 1 July, than the maximum you have claimed for under any period up to 30 June. This may differ where you have an employee returning from statutory parental leave.

As well as employees, the CJRS grant can be claimed for any of the following, if they are paid via PAYE:

  • Office holders – including salaried company directors and directors of their own personal service company
  • Salaried members of Limited Liability partnerships
  • Agency workers
  • Limb (b) workers
  • Contingent workers in the public sector
  • Contractors with public sector engagements in scope of IR35 off-payroll working rules

Full government guidance on who you can claim for can be found here.

Calculating your claim

The government provides detailed guidance on this. In line with the scheme’s changes, employers will be asked to contribute to the costs of furloughed employees’ wages to ensure that they continue to receive at least 80% of their wages for the time they are on furlough. It is important that you keep records of the following for at least 6 years:

  • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
  • the claim reference number for your records
  • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
  • usual hours worked, including any calculations that were required, for employees you flexibly furloughed
  • actual hours worked for employees you flexibly furloughed

The calculations can be onerous, and they will become more complex with the introduction of flexible furloughing. Our team have been successfully advising and implementing furloughing schemes for our clients as well as calculating and submitting their claims.

If you plan to make your own claim, you will need:

(Full Government guidance)

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the billing address on your bank account (this is the address on your bank statements)
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number (you will need to search for their number if you do not have it or contact HMRC if your employee does not have a number)
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amounts that you’re claiming for including:
    • employee wages
    • employer National Insurance contributions (for claims up to 31 July)
    • employer minimum pension contributions (for claims up to 31 July)
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You also need to provide either:

  • your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent)
  • your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
  • your Self-Assessment unique taxpayer reference
  • your company registration number

If you’re claiming for employees who are flexibly furloughed, you’ll need to have agreed the furlough arrangement with the employee (or reached a collective agreement with a trade union) and keep a written agreement that confirms the furlough arrangement.

For the claim period you’ll also need:

  • the number of usual hours your employee would work in the claim period
  • the number of hours your employee has or will work in the claim period
  • you will also need to keep a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period

 

 

 reference documents and useful links:

Changes to furlough scheme

Employers to share costs of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and SEISS extended

Update 20 April 2020 Bates Weston Blog on making a claim under CJRS

Update 16 April 2020 Treasury Direction clarifies Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: furlough guidance from the ICAEW

 

 

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