Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

First posted: 2nd APRIL 2020
The scheme allows employers to continue paying part of their employees' salaries who otherwise would lose their jobs during the crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’.
17 December 2020

For recent updates to the scheme - scroll down. 

 

Eligibility

All UK businesses with a PAYE scheme are eligible, including the public sector, Local Authorities and charities.

 

What does the scheme provide? 

  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. 
  • The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

 

How to apply? 

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (once it is live)

 

 

To use the scheme, the steps you’ll need to take are:

  1. Check if you can claim.

  2. Check which employees you can put on furlough

  3. Calculate 80% of your employees’ wages.

  4. Claim for your employees’ wages.

  5. Report a payment in PAYE Real Time Information.

 

Save and return option now added (update from May the 26th)

In response to feedback from customers using the service, we’ve added a 'save and return' option. This means that you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go.

 

These steps should help keep the process as simple as possible:

  • read the guidance before you apply, to find this go to GOV‌.UK and search for 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme', there’s a step-by-step guide to applying and a calculator
  • check your employees are eligible, by looking at the guidance on GOV‌.UK
  • check your calculations each time you submit a claim, in case any details have changed
  • only submit one claim per pay period – you can’t submit another claim for overlapping periods; this means that in each claim you should include all furloughed employees paid during that period
  • if you have missing National Insurance numbers for employees, do try and find them so it doesn’t delay your claim; if an employee doesn’t have a National Insurance number yet, you should contact HMRC in order to complete your claim; go to GOV‌.UK and search for 'get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' to find out how to contact us
  • double check all of the information in the claim before you submit it, including your bank details.

 

The future of the scheme (update from June the 12th)

  • The rules of the scheme are changing from 1 J‌ul‌y.
  • On 12 J‌un‌e, we’ll publish full guidance on all the scheme changes on GOV.UK – search for 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' to find this – webinars offering more support on the changes will also be available to book online from 12 June – please do not call us for more information, as everything you need to know about the scheme changes will be published online on GOV‌.UK.
  • From 1 July, you’ll have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time, you can decide the hours and shift patterns they work to suit the needs of your business – you’ll pay their wages for the time they’re in work and can apply for a scheme grant to cover any of their normal hours they are still furloughed for.
  • Also, for periods starting on or after the 1 J‌ul‌y, the maximum number of employees you can claim for in any period cannot be higher than the maximum number you have claimed for in a previous period. For example, if your highest single claim for periods up to 30 J‌un‌e was for 100 people, you can’t claim for more than this number in later periods.
  • From 1 Au‌gu‌st, you will need to contribute towards the wage costs of your furloughed employees until the scheme ends on 31 Oc‌to‌be‌r.

 

From the 1st August, employers will need to pay National Insurance and pension contributions for furloughed employees from their own resources as these will not be covered by future grants.

Join the webinar to learn more about the scheme, including flexible furloughing, examples of how to work out the amount you can claim, and the changes due in September and October.

 

  • From September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed

 

  • From October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed

 

Employers will continue to able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense if they wish. Employers will have to pay their employees for the hours worked.

 

Find out more by checking the links below. 

 

Updates from 17/12/2020

The UK Government has reviewed the terms of the scheme, and announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain at the current level of 80% of usual wages for the hours not worked, and will be extended until the end of April‌ ‌2021.

 

What you need to do now

  1. If you haven’t submitted your claim for November but still need to, check if you have a reasonable excuse by searching 'claim for wages' – if your reason means you can claim late, please do so as soon as you’re able to.
  2. Check you have not made any errors on your November claims, by looking at the eligibility criteria and calculating how much you can claim – search 'Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌.UK.
  3. Submit any claims for December no later than 14‌‌‌‌ ‌January.
  4. Keep any records that support the amount of CJRS grants you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them. ‌

You can now make December claims

You can now submit your claims for periods in December. These must be made by 14 January.

To help you plan ahead to meet the monthly deadlines, here’s a list of the key dates you need to know:

  • 14‌‌ January‌‌ 2021 – final date to submit claims for December‌‌ 2020 by 11‌‌:59pm
  • 15‌‌ February‌‌ 2021 – final date to submit claims for January‌‌ 2021 by 11‌‌:59pm
  • 15‌‌ March‌‌ 2021 – final date to submit claims for February‌‌ 2021 by 11‌‌:59pm
  • 14‌‌ April‌‌ 2021 – final date to submit claims for March‌‌ 2021 by 11‌‌:59pm
  • 14‌‌ May‌‌ 2021 – final date to submit claims for April‌‌ 2021 by 11‌‌:59pm.

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