Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) extended to March 2021

CJRS extended to end March 2021, New JSS and JRB schemes delayed 

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now remain open until the end of March 2021.

Many features are as we knew or experienced already:

  • The level of the grant will relate to the pay for unworked hours and wiCoronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended to March 2021ll increase from the current level to 80% of normal regular contractual wages, up to the usual £2,500 cap until the end of January 2021, when it will be reviewed.
  • Employers will therefore still need to pay:
    • Employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs), and
    • Pension contributions
    • Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to fulltime furloughing.
  • Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS that was in place from March to October.
  • Claim for employees on PAYE payroll @ 30th October 2020 included on an RTi between 20th March and 30th October 2020
  • Use same calculation for reference pay and usual hours for those previously furloughed
  • Flexible furlough agreements can last ANY amount of time, but the period claimed for must be for a minimum claim period of 7 consecutive calendar days
  • The closing date for claims up to and including 31st October remains 30th November 2020

‘New’ features include:

  • For employees not previously furloughed, use:
    • Fixed pay (employed on/after 20th March 2020 - last pay period prior to 30th October
    • Variable pay or hours (employed after 20th March) - average of tax year 2020 to 2021 up to the start of the furlough
  • Can re-employ employees employed and on the payroll on 23rd September 2020 made redundant or stopped working for their Employer afterwards
  • Claims for November 2020 must be made by 14th December 2020.
  • Claims for each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month
  • HMRC to publish details of Employers who make claims under the extended CJRS scheme, starting from December
  • For claims after 1st November 2020, can only increase the claim if amended within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to
  • 30th November 2020 is last day to submit claims for periods ending on or before 31st October 2020. After this date you will not be able to:
    • submit any further claims for periods ending on or before 31st October 2020
    • add to existing claims for periods on or before 31st October 2020
  • Employers cannot claim for any days on or after 1st December 2020 during which an employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement or resignation

Also, worth ‘noting’:

  • The Job Support Scheme (JSS) has been postponed
  • The Job Retention Bonus (JRB) will not be paid in February 2020. Instead a retention incentive will be deployed at the appropriate time
  • Annual leave can be taken and furlough claimed but ensure contract allows or the ‘double’ notice has been given for employment law purposes
  • Only retrospective employee agreements put in place up to and including the 13th November 2020 may be relied on for the purposes of a CJRS claim

As a reminder and as ‘before’:

  • Employees can be furloughed where they are unable to work because they:
    • are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding), or
    • have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, including employees that need to look after children
  • CJRS is not intended for short-term sick absences, but if Employers want to furlough employees for business reasons who are off sick, they are eligible to do so
  • During hours where employees are on furlough, they cannot do any work that makes money or provides services for their Employer or any organisation linked or associated with them
  • Employees can:
    • take part in training
    • volunteer for another Employer or organisation
    • work for another Employer (if contractually allowed)
  • Employees will retain their rights at work, including:
    • SSP
    • annual leave
    • maternity and other parental rights
    • rights against unfair dismissal
    • redundancy payments
    • to be paid at least statutory National Minimum Wage for hours worked
  • Employers can:
    • fully furlough employees – this means the employee does no work for the Employer
    • flexibly furlough employees – this means employees can work for any amount of time, and any work pattern and claim the grant for the furloughed hours, with reference to hours the employee would usually have worked in that period
  • Employers must:
    • make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
    • keep a written record of the agreement for 5 years
    • keep records of how many hours their employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (for example, not working), for 6 years
  • The terms of any agreement must:
    • reflect the hours the employee has actually worked or not worked over the period of the agreement
    • allow the Employer to satisfy the terms of CJRS so they can make a claim in relation to hours not worked
  • The employee does not have to provide a written response and Employers do not need to place all their employees on furlough
  • Where consistent with employment law, any flexible furlough or furlough agreement made retrospectively that has effect from 1st November 2020 will be valid for the purposes of a CJRS
  • Grant payments are anticipated 6 working days after the first claims.

Download our guide below for more information or if you have further queries please contact:

Nigel Morris,
Employment Tax Director,

E: nigel.morris@mhllp.co.uk
T: 07718 340634
Richard Maitland,
Employment Tax Partner,

E: Richard.maitland@mhllp.co.uk
T: 07711 373584
Stephanie Pote or Colin O’Kane,
Senior HR Consultants,

E: HRSolutions@mhllp.co.uk

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COVID-19 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) update