Extended Furlough Scheme – SMB Employment Team’s “Guide to the Guides”

11th November 2020

HMRC has now released 12 guidance documents on the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Our Employment team summarises what Employers need to know.

The Extended CJRS

The CJRS, which was originally due to close on 31 October 2020, has been extended to 31 March 2021. Starting from 1 November 2020 and ending on 31 January 2021, the extended scheme will allow employers to claim up to 80% of wages for hours not worked capped at £2,500 per month per employee. The scheme remains open to all employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes.

Guidance Document 1 – Overview Guide

HMRC’s overview guide to the new scheme sets out the key steps that employers must take to claim and general information about who is eligible under the scheme: Check if you can claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for your employees’ wages

 Guidance Documents 2 & 3 – Who Can Be Furloughed

HMRC encourages employers to use its guidance document to check which employees they can put on furlough:  Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Please also see the guidance on other types of employees an employer can claim for; for example furloughing agency workers and other individuals who are not employees.

SM&B also notes that this guidance document states that whilst employers can currently continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period, the government is reviewing that position and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020.  We expect further guidance on this point to be published in late November.

Guidance Documents 4 -7 – How to calculate your claim

HMRC have included guidance and examples of how to calculate a claim for an employee who is fully furloughed and how to work out a claim for an employee who is flexibly furloughed.

There is also guidance on the steps to take before calculating your claim including how to decide on a claim period and what kinds of pay and payments can be included in a claim.

For general guidance on calculating a claim HMRC have published the following guidance:

Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Guidance Document 8 – How To Make A Claim

Employers will need to make claims under the scheme monthly and no later than 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. For example, claims made for furlough days in November must be submitted by 14th December. Further guidance and the link to make a claim is published here: Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Guidance Document 9 – Reporting CJRS Payments

Employers may need to report CJRS payments on the PAYE Real Time Information system depending on whether they are using the grant to pay wages or to reimburse wages that have already been paid. Guidance on reporting can be found here: Reporting employees’ wages to HMRC when you’ve claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Guidance Document 10 – Holiday Pay

Workers who have been placed on furlough continue to accrue statutory holiday entitlements, and any additional holiday provided for under their employment contract. Any pay received by a furloughed worker while they are on holiday should reflect what they would have earned if they had been at work and working. There is also new legislation in relation to carrying holiday over into future years. Check HMRC’s holiday entitlement and pay guidance for more information.

Guidance Documents 11 – 12

Employers may wish to check the guidance on how to pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back in the event that they have overclaimed or want to make a voluntary payment back.

The following guidance is also available for employees: Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Should you require any assistance with your employment arrangements during the Covid-19 pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact the Co-Head Partners of our Employment department.  Ewan Keen can be reached at 020 3206 2724 or Ewan.Keen@smab.london  or Tamara Ludlow can be reached at 020 3206 2739 or Tamara.Ludlow@smb.london.