Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – Get Ready To Claim

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – Get ready to claim

Table of Contents

Late in the evening of 10 November 2020 HMRC issued further guidance regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

This is a summary of the announcements with links below to the full guidance.

The CJRS was originally due to end on 31 October 2020 and replaced by the Job Support Scheme. However, the Government have now decided to continue with the CJRS.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now remain in place until 31 March 2021.

From 1 November 2020 up to 31 January 2021 you can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The Government will review these limits in January 2021.

You will not be required to contribute or top-up for the hours not worked but you will be required to pay employer NICs and pension costs.

You will only be able to claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on your payroll on 30 October 2020. This means you must have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. However, if you made employees redundant or they stopped working for you on or after 23 September 2020, you can re-employ them and put them on furlough. This applies as long as the employee was employed and on your PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made between 20 March and 23 September 2020.

You will be able to claim for an employee even if you did not need to have previously claimed for them before the 30 October 2020.

You can fully furlough employees. Or you can flexibly furlough employees which means they can work for any amount of time and any work pattern.

During the hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, you cannot ask them to do any work for you that makes money or provide services for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation

However, whilst on furlough your employee can take part in training or volunteer for another employer or organisation. They can also work for another employer if contractually allowed.

To claim for an employee who is contracted for a fixed number of hours and whose pay does not vary according to the number of hours they work:

For employees who were on your payroll on 19 March 2020 and were reported to HMRC on a Real Time Information (RTI) Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before 19 March 2020 the claim is based on the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020.

For all other employees, the claim will be based on their last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020.

To claim for an employee who works variable hours

For employees who were on your payroll on 19 March 2020 and were reported to HMRC on a Real Time Information (RTI) Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before 19 March 2020 the reference period will be based on the higher of either:

  • the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020

For all other employees, the employee’s reference period will be the average number of hours worked between 6 April 2020 and the employee’s first day spent on furlough on or after 1 November 2020.

To claim for an employee whose pay varies

For employees’ who were on your payroll on 19 March 2020 and were reported to HMRC on a Real Time Information (RTI) Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before 19 March 2020 you should calculate 80% of the higher of:

  • the wages earned in the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • the average wages payable in the tax year 2019 to 2020

For all other employees’ you should calculate 80% of the average wages payable between 6 April 2020 and the day before they are furloughed on or after 1 November 2020.

If your employee has variable hours you will have completed a similar comparison to work out their usual hours but the outcome may be different.

The guidance in the link below “calculate how much you can claim” gives a number of examples of how to carry out the above calculations.

How to claim

You’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password you got when you registered for PAYE online. So if you have not previously made a claim for the CJRS but intend to do so from 1 November 2020 it is important that you ensure you have a PAYE online account set up.

Claims from 1 November 2020 must be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend then claims should be submitted on the next working day.

Claim for furlough days in

Claim must be submitted by

November 2020

14 December 2020

December 2020

14 January 2021

January 2021

15 February 2021

February 2021

15 March 2021

March 2021

14 April 2021

HMRC may accept a claim made after the relevant deadline if you had a reasonable excuse for failing to make a claim in time and you then claimed without delay after the excuse no longer applied.

30 November 2020 is the last day that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

Employer claim information that HMRC will make public

From December 2020, HMRC will publish employer names and the company registration number of those who have made claims under the scheme for the month of December onwards.

Holiday Pay

Furloughed employees continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract. However, the employer and employee can agree to vary holiday entitlement as part of the furlough agreement. Almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory paid annual leave each year which they cannot go below.

Employees are allowed to take holiday whilst on furlough. Employers will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need and the correct notice is given.

If an employee is flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.

Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period.

If a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay their usual holiday pay in accordance with the Working Time Regulations.

If an employee usually works bank holidays then the employer can agree that this is included in the grant payment. If the employee usually takes the bank holiday as leave then the employer would either have to top up their usual holiday pay, or give the employee a day of holiday in lieu.