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Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.

From 1 August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month. To be eligible for the grant employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed.

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June.

The table below shows Government contribution, required employer contribution and amount employee receives where the employee is furloughed 100% of the time.

Wage caps are proportional to the hours not worked.

  July August September October
Government contribution:
employer NICs and pension contributions
Yes No No No
Government contribution: wages 80% up to £2,500 80% up to £2,500 70% up to £2,187.50 60% up to £1,875
Employer contribution: employer NICs and pension contributions No Yes Yes Yes
Employer contribution: wages - - 10% up to £312.50 20% up to £625
Employee receives 80% up to £2,500 per month 80% up to £2,500 per month 80% up to £2,500 per month 80% up to £2,500 per month

The first time that you will be able to claim for days in July will be 1 July, you cannot claim for periods in July before this date. The CJRS from 1 July is effectively a completely new scheme. Think of it as CJRS2.

Going forward, there will be changes to how the claim period window is decided to coincide with the monthly changes of the CJRS scheme.

From 1 July, claim periods will no longer be able to overlap months, employers who previously submitted claims with periods that overlapped calendar months will no longer be able to do this going forward. This is necessary to reflect the forthcoming changes to the scheme.

  • Claims for any period starting before 1 July, must end on or before 30 June. This will be the case where an employee furloughed in June, continues to be furloughed full time into July.  This does not mean you have to make a claim for June before the end of June though. It must be for the period up to the end of June no longer. So claims can only be made for CJRS1 as one claim and then CJRS 2 as a separate claim.
  • Separate claims will need to be made for the days in June and then the days in July that you want to claim for, even if it is one continuous period of furlough. For some employers this may mean that your claim period is different to your payroll period.  
  • For claim periods starting on or after 1 July, these must start and end within the same calendar month and must last at least 7 days; unless you are claiming for the first few days or last few days of the month. The claim can only be less than 7 days if it is the first or last day of the month and you have already claimed for the period ending immediately before it. 
  • If your pay period includes days in more than one month, you’ll need to submit separate claims covering the days that fall into each month. You should calculate each of those claims separately. Claim periods cannot overlap, so you will need to make sure you include all of the employees you want to claim for in each claim you make. For example, the pay period falls 20 July to 16 August, will have to be made as 2 separate claims, 20 July-31 July and then 1 August to 16 August. 
  • You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll; you can usually make your claim up to 14 days before your claim period end date and do not have to wait until the end of a claim period to make your next claim. Claims for periods after 30 June can be made from 1 July.
  • From 1 July, it is possible for employers to ‘flexibly furlough’ employees. They can bring them back on a part-time or reduced hours basis whilst still claiming for the hours/shifts not worked through CJRS Scheme. 
  • If your employee is flexibly furloughed, you’ll need to work out your employee’s usual hours and record the actual hours they work as well as their furloughed hours for each claim period. If you require any support on working out how to calculate your employee’s usual hours depending on whether they are working fixed or variable hours, please get in touch and we will support you.

Once you have claimed, the following evidence must be kept for 6 years for audit purposes. Once HMRC have checked the claim it will be paid into your bank account within 6 working days:

  • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
  • the claim reference number for your records
  • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
  • usual hours worked, including any calculations that were required, for employees you flexibly furloughed
  • actual hours worked for employees you flexibly furloughed

Please remember if you change your employees hours from being fully furloughed to being partially furloughed, or coming back full time, or they are going back on furlough, then you need to agree this with the employee and record that agreement in writing. This is because the changes to their hours is a change to their contract of employment. It does not have to be a full relaunch of their contract of employment, an e mail exchange will do. As long as it is clear what you expect of them and they indicate agreement.

Some employees may be reluctant to return to work, even part time. If you find you are having difficulty with some employees, please let us know. We can help you navigate this type of difficulty.

If you require any support with calculation of wages, or would like us to support in working out your furlough claim periods going forward. Please contact us.

This advice is based upon the Governmental and ACAS guidance as at the time of this email.

If you have any questions on the employment guidance outlined above, or have any business related queries you would like our support with, then please feel free to contact us.

Philip Lewis-Ogden

Please contact Philip Lewis-Ogden on 07539 361037

the SJP Law office

Please contact the SJP Law office on 01482 324591

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