UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update – Changes and Timelines

The current UK Job Retention Scheme scheme was announced by the UK Chancellor in March 2020. Latest figures show that since the start of May the number of furloughed employees has risen by 25% to reach 8.4 million workers at a cost of around £15 billion.
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UK Furlough Scheme
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The current UK Job Retention Scheme scheme has been extended by the UK Chancellor until 30 September 2021.

Latest figures show that as of February 15, 2021, approximately 11.2 million jobs, from 1.3 million different employers were furloughed in the United Kingdom as part of the government’s job retention scheme.

As part of the Spring budget, the Treasury announced that it will extend the job retention scheme (CJRS) until September 2021. Under the new extension, the government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees’ salary for hours not worked, with a new taper requiring employers to contribute 10% to wages in July and 20% in August and September.

From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible for the grant you must continue to pay your furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they spend on furlough.

You can continue to choose to top up your employees’ wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at your own expense.

Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

Government guidance has now made it clear that there is no right to appeal if you’re not eligible for the CJRS.

Which employees are eligible?

Employers can claim for employees, on any type of employment contract, who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on:

  • 30 October 2020 (for periods ending on or before 30 April 2021); or
  • 2 March 2021 (for periods starting on or after 1 May 2021).

The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020 (or for claims for periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, this submission must have been made between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021), notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. The employees do not need to have been previously furloughed.

Scheme cut-off deadlines

The deadline for submitting claims will be around the 14th of the month (for claims relating to the preceding month). For example, claims relating to March 2021 will need to be made by 14 April 2021.

The deadline for amending a claim will usually fall on or around the 28th of a month (for claims relating to the preceding month). For example, to amend claims relating to March 2021, the application should be made by 28 April 2021.

Is Flexible Furloughing possible?

Flexible furloughing will continue to be possible, in addition to full-time furloughing, so employees will be able to work some of their hours (and be paid for this by their employer) and receive furlough pay for unworked hours.

Staff can start working part-time and have their additional salary topped up by the scheme. The employer will decide hours and shift patterns and individuals will continue to receive 80% of their normal salary but the employer must also ‘agree’ this work pattern with the employee. Best practice dictates that these agreements are made in writing and stored safely. Bizimply allows the secure categorisation and filing in employee documents.

Coronavirus Support Guidance

We at Bizimply also strive to keep up to date on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’s latest developments. Don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email or social media if you have any questions:

Phone:

(UK) +44 203 642 5644

(IRE) +353 (1) 254 2524

Email: support@bizimply.com

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Twitter DM: @Bizimply

LinkedIn: Bizimply

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