Covid-19 Information

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This page provides guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, commonly known as the furlough scheme.

11.11.20

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extension Now Open
You are now able to submit new Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme applications. For more on eligibility, what documents / information you’ll need and how to apply click here.

 

05.11.20

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)  will be extended until the end of March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.

He said that the Government intends to keep the national lockdown restrictions in England until 2 December, but stated that the economic impact of these measures lasts longer than the duration of any restrictions imposed. He said that given the significant uncertainty and the need to give businesses and employees security, it was right for the Government to go further in providing economic support.

For the news story click here.

For the policy paper relating to scheme extension click here

Full guidance for the CJRS extension can be found here.

31.10.20

It has been announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) would be extended for a further month. Key information is:

  • The extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wage costs. There will be a short period when businesses will be paid in arrears while HMRC changes the legal terms of the scheme and updates the system.
  • The level of the grant will be the same as the CJRS grant in August, so, for the hours the employee does not work, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions.
  • Employers are still able to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
  • Flexible furloughing will continue to be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
  • You can claim for employees who were on your PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. You must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. If employees were on your payroll on 23 September 2020 (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23 September) and were made redundant or stopped working for you afterwards, they can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them. Neither you nor your employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
  • The Job Support Scheme (see below) will be introduced following the end of the CJRS.

Further details can be found here.  Additional guidance will be published shortly and a link will be added here.

N.B. Furloughed employees must go home and not work throughout the period of furlough. Employers should discuss the furlough with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. See below for further details and for a sample letter which can be used. While the employee is on furlough employment continues with all other associated terms and conditions of service.

 

Placing Employees on Furlough – Keeping a Record – Varying Terms of Service

The terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme include that to be eligible for subsidy an employer should write to every employee to be placed on furlough, confirming that they have been furloughed, and keep a record of the communication.

For most employees this change will be a variation to their terms of service, which due to the emergency circumstances and no other beneficial alternative, it is very likely that an employee would agree to. It will be prudent for employers to obtain a record of the an employee’s agreement.

When furlough ceases the employee’s terms of service will be varied again, perhaps returning to the pre furlough position, perhaps to something different, even to the start of a redundancy procedure. It will be helpful later if this uncertainty is understood by employees at the time of furlough.

An example letter to employees is available here.

This letter is generic and attempts to give a reasonable start point for a communication to employees which meets the above objectives. Users should adapt the draft letter to their particular circumstances.

The reference to not undertaking work for any other employer whilst on furlough is not strictly correct. However, within our industry sub sector a number of employees have undertaken regular additional work away from their primary employer, this reference is intended to bring any instances to light to their main employer to avoid problems at the time of notification/submission to HMRC when claims are made.

This information is intended only as ‘general’ information, it does not constitute advice for the purposes of any individual case and cannot be a substitute for specific professional advice based on the circumstances of any such case. The NASC/author cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage, however arising, to any person or organisation using this information/document.

If you have further queries please email enquiries@nasc.org.uk including your telephone number.

 

Past information –

The CJRS was originally announced in March 2020 and launched for applications in April 2020.  From 1st July until 31st October the scheme was closed to new entrants so only employees furloughed before the 10th June were eligible for claims, however part time furlough was introduced so employees could return to work part time and claims could be made on the CJRS for normal hours not worked.

From the 1st August the level of monthly was progressively reduced as follows:

  • March to July 2020 – 80% of wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, plus employer national insurance and pension contributions.
  • August 2020 – 80% of wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, but no payment for employer national insurance or pension contributions.
  • September 2020 – 70% of wages, up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month, no payment for employer national insurance or pension contributions, employers must top up employee pay to at least 80% up to a cap of £2,500.
  • October 2020 – 60% of wages, up to a cap of £1,875 per month, no payment for employer national insurance or pension contributions, employers must top up employee pay to at least 80% up to a cap of £2,500.

 

The Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus was announced in July 2020 but has now been withdrawn following the extension of the CJRS. This was to be be a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that had used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remained continuously employed until 31 January 2021. For more information click here.

 

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) was announced as part of the Winter Economy Plan on September 24 2020 and subsequently amended.

The new scheme was to operate for 6 months from November 2020 but since the CJRS scheme has been extended this scheme has been been delayed. The key features of the scheme were:

  • The scheme was to support viable jobs, employees must have worked at least 20% of their normal hours and be paid as normal. Employers would continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work – but for the hours not worked a government grant would be available.
  • The scheme would be available to all small and medium sized businesses across the UK, but only to large businesses where the turnover had fallen through the crisis.
  • The scheme would be open to all employers even if they have not used the furlough scheme.

Employers could make use of both the Jobs Support Scheme and the Jobs Retention Bonus (see below).

 

 

 

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