Since this is the first Muras Matters of 2021 we would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year.
Shortly before Christmas the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a further extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS) until the end of April 2021 to coincide with the tighter Covid-19 measures in England. As previously, the government will pay 80% of furloughed employees current salary for hours not worked.
The furlough scheme had already been extended to 31 March 2021 from the previous end date of 31 October 2020.
The deadline for making a claim under the furlough scheme for December 2020 is 14 January 2021.
The grant will be calculated by reference to employees usual hours worked in a claim period up to a maximum of £2,500. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as previously under the CJRS. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the level of hours not worked.
Employers will only be required to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for the hours the employee does not work.
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, and some employees previously excluded from the CRJS may now be eligible for a claim under the extended scheme.
Employees may now be eligible if:
- They had earnings for 2019/20 reported on a full payment submission (FPS) from 20 March 2020 to 19 April 2020 (19 April being the deadline for 2019/20 submissions); or
- They had earnings for 2020/21 reported on a full payment submission from 6 April 2020 to 30 October 2020.
It is also possible for employees who had a leaving date after 23 September 2020 to be reinstated if the employer so chooses.
It has also been confirmed that flexible furloughing will continue to be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
One of the most important features of the scheme extension however is the deadline for making a claim. The December 2020 furlough claim must be processed by 14 January 2021 and each subsequent month thereafter will need to be submitted by 14th day of the following month.
Loan scheme extensions
It has also been announced that access to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme which were due to close at the end of January 2021, will now remain open to businesses until the end of March 2021.
Our Current working arrangement – We remain ‘Open for business’
Our staff are continuing with office based working on a rota basis, each attending up to two days a week, whilst continuing to work from home at other times. They can still be contacted in the usual way either via email or by calling the office number where reception will divert your call to the appropriate staff member.
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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