Following the announcement on Saturday evening of the introduction of a further national lockdown the Government has confirmed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS), due to end on 31 October, will now be extended for a further month.
Under the extension of the scheme the level of government support will return to the August levels whereby furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary.
Prior to the Government announcement on Saturday the CRJS was due to end on 31 October 2020, after having been scaled back to cover 60% of salaries during October.
Now the scheme will remain open until December, with furloughed employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. The grant will be calculated by reference to employees usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as previously under the CJRS.
Similar to how the scheme operated in August, employers will only be required to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for the hours the employee does not work, making the extended scheme more generous than it was in October.
To be eligible to claim under the extended CRJS, employees must have been on the employer’s PAYE payroll by 23.59 on 30 October 2020. This means that a real time (RTI) submission notifying HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) of payment to that employee must have made on or before that date.
There is no requirement for the employer or the employee to have previously used the CJRS in order to make a claim.
As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be continue to be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees, and as with the existing CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
For worked hours, the employer will pay the employee as subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.
The Government will issue further details shortly on when claims can be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but they have stated there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
The Job Support Scheme (JSS) which was due to commence from the start of November 2020 will now be introduced following the end of the CJRS extension.
Should you have any questions regarding the extension to the scheme outlined above, require any assistance in making claims under the new measures or have any other query relating to the current situation, please speak to your usual contact at the firm.
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