Following the announcement of the extended CJRS scheme at the end of October, it was confirmed that there would be a further update issued on the 10 November. HMRC last night issued the revised guidance on the CJRS scheme which apply from 1 November. It is also important to set out (which is below) regarding claiming for employees under notice and in particular statutory notice under the scheme;
- 30 November 2020 is your last day to make claims under the old scheme which applied until 31 October 2020.
- Employers are able to apply for CJRS from today Wednesday 11 November– for periods from 1 November and you will need to submit any claims for November by 14 December.
- To use the new scheme you do not have to have used it before and neither do your employees have to have been furloughed before. You can only use it if your operations are affected by COVID-19 and employees you claim for must have been on the payroll by 30 October 2020 and an RTI submission made for them between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020. You can take back those that left your employment from 23 September 2020, including those whose fixed term contracts expired after that date.
- The scheme will be reviewed from 31 January 2021 and is subject to further amendment from 1 December 2020, specifically in respect of employees made redundant and serving notice (see below).
- The guidance specifically says that you can claim for those employees made redundant who are serving statutory notice. HMRC makes no reference to contractual notice and goes further to say that they will issue further guidance at the end of November as they may change their approach to claim periods from 1 December 2020 and particularly whether employers can claim under the CJRS for those working statutory or contractual notice periods. The implication being that employees made redundant and currently serving notice which is above statutory cannot be claimed for from 1 November. It would seem likely that no employee made redundant and serving statutory or contractual notice from 1 December can be claimed for. No reference is made to employees serving notice for any other reason.
- It is important to reiterate that you should have agreed with and notified your employee in writing by 13 November (Friday this week) in order to backdate your claim to 1 November. Although HMRC does not require this to be signed by your employee, if you are reducing their salary and do not have a short time/layoff clause in their contract it is important to get them to sign the agreement to ensure you do not face a claim for unlawful deduction from wages at a later date.
- 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, you may be able to submit a claim late if you have a reasonable excuse.
- HMRC intend to publish details of employers who claim under the scheme from 1 December 2020, and employees will be able to find out if their employer has claimed for them under the scheme.
- If employees are on flexi furlough then hours taken on holiday count as furloughed hours and not working hours.
- Supply teachers can be claimed for and continued to be claimed for during school holidays.
- Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable or at high risk who cannot work from home can be furloughed, but there is no reference to those who live in the same household – in line with the new ‘shielding’ guidance issued.
- Those with caring responsibilities for children unable to go to school or the vulnerable can be furloughed.
- Women returning from maternity leave early must give eight weeks’ notice and cannot be furloughed earlier than 8 weeks
- The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021 and an alternative retention incentive will be put in place at the appropriate time.
If we can help you further on any part of the process, at Black Mountain we are always here to support you.