November 5, 2020

Extended CJRS (Furlough): What Employers Need to Know

On 5 November the Chancellor announced an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS, or furlough scheme). The CJRS will now run until March 2021 to protect businesses and employees during the second national lockdown.

Meanwhile the Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to start on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

Overview of Changes in the UK

  1. England is under new national lockdown restrictions between 5th November and 2nd December. This requires people to stay within their homes as much as possible and requires certain businesses to close to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
  2. The CJRS that was due to end on 31 October has been extended until 31 March, and will be reviewed in January.
  3. The Job Support Scheme (both open and closed schemes) is postponed and will resume when the CJRS finishes.

Key Facts about the Extended CJRS for Employers

  • The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500.
  • Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for the hours the employee does not work which, for the average claim, is approximately 5% of total employment costs.
  • This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs.
  • Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.
  • Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme.
  • Employers will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis, or furlough them full-time.
  • As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.

Employees

  • To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
  • Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. These calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
  • 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, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.

The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.

Want to know more? Read our FAQs on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here.

Moorepay customers can also sign up to our webinar on the job retention scheme.

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About the author

Claire Younger

About the author

Claire Younger

With a career in payroll spanning 24 years, Claire is CIPP qualified and has been with Moorepay for 19 years. Claire has enjoyed a wide range of roles in payroll, starting out as as a Trainee Payroll Administrator, and progressing to a Payroll Manager. She's also worked as an Operations Consultant, Offshoring Consultant, Project Manager, Implementation Manager, Partner Enablement Manager, Strategic Account Manager and most recently, a Business Improvement Manager. Claire is passionate about business improvement, client service and working across multiple teams. She often works in a ‘troubleshooting’ role supporting colleagues in operations and implementation with special projects, process improvement and best practice.

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