Tag: furlough

Furlough Scheme Update: From 01 February to 30 April

January 29, 2021, By
furlough-scheme-update

This furlough scheme update has formally extended the CJRS until the end of April, and we have further clarification on the scheme’s operation between the above dates.

On 26 January 2021, HMRC published a sixth Treasury Direction in respect of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the “Furlough Scheme”). The latest Direction formally extends the Furlough Scheme until 30 April 2021 and throws further light on the scheme’s operation between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021 (the “Relevant Period”). 

We summarise the key points in the furlough scheme update below:

There are no changes to the core elements of the Scheme. For the Relevant Period, employers will continue to be able to claim for 80% of an eligible employee’s salary, capped at £2,500 per month, in respect of hours not worked, and will continue to be required to pay the employer national insurance and employer auto-enrolment pension contributions on furloughed employees’ pay. Employers will also not be able to make claims for employees who are working their notice period.

As promised, HMRC published the first details of employers who have made claims under the scheme on 26 January 2021. The publication provided information about employers who made claims in December 2020. These publications will continue to be made for claims made between 01 February 2021 – 30 April 2021.

The deadlines to submit claims covering the Relevant Period are as follows:

o   February: 15 March 2021
o   March: 14 April 2021
o   April: 14 May 2021

Any amendments to be made to claims in respect of the same period are subject to the following deadlines:

o   February: 29 March 2021
o   March: 28 April 2021
o   April: 28 May 2021

For non-fixed rate employees, employers are required to use the employee’s pay in March and April 2019 as their reference salary for calculating their furlough pay for March and April 2021. The Sixth Treasury Direction recognises that by March 2021, the Furlough Scheme will have been running for a year. This means that an employee who is furloughed in March or April this year could have also been furloughed in March or April 2020.

The Direction, therefore, modifies the relevant reference year for those months to 2019 instead of 2020. When calculating an employee’s January or February 2021 furlough pay, the corresponding calendar month in 2020 should be used, as the Furlough Scheme did not start until March 2020.

Similar changes have been made to the calculation of a non-fixed rate employee’s usual working hours for March and April 2021 due to the possibility that any such employee could have also been furloughed in the corresponding month in 2020.

Where a non-fixed rate employee was not employed in March or April 2019, HMRC’s ‘Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ explains that an employer can only use the averaging method to calculate their usual working hours.

Contact us with any questions

If you would like any assistance in relation to this furlough scheme update, or the job retention scheme in general, please do not hesitate to reach out to the team. You can call us on 0161 969 3131 or fill in our contact form and one of the team will be in touch.

January Update to the Furlough Scheme

January 8, 2021, By
furlough-scheme-update

Employees who are unable to work or are working reduced hours as a result of caring responsibilities arising from the coronavirus can be furloughed. New updates to the furlough scheme are explained below.

On Monday 4 January 2021, Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown in England, dashing any hopes of the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions in 2021.

As part of the newly imposed lockdown, children in primary and secondary schools switched to remote learning until at least February half term. The only exceptions to this are vulnerable children and children of key workers who are still able to have in-person classroom lessons.

Following calls for extra support for working parents having to deal with enforced school closures, HMRC has updated its ‘Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ guidance (the ‘Guidance’) to clarify that employees who are unable to work, or are working reduced hours as a result of caring responsibilities arising from the coronavirus, can be furloughed.

We have produced a tracked version of the latest changes to the relevant section of the Guidance below.

If your employee’s health has been affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) or any other conditions

I̶f̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶e̶m̶p̶l̶o̶y̶e̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ Your employee is eligible for the grant and can be furloughed, if they are unable to work, including from home or working reduced hours because they:

  • u̶n̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶ ̶b̶e̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health guidance.
  • u̶n̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶ ̶b̶e̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), i̶n̶c̶l̶u̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶e̶m̶p̶l̶o̶y̶e̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶n̶e̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶l̶o̶o̶k̶ ̶a̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶h̶i̶l̶d̶r̶e̶n̶ ̶ such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing or caring for a vulnerable individual in their household.

This update now clarifies what has previously been an area of uncertainty and confirms that working parents caring for school children are eligible to be furloughed. We believe that parents assisting primary school children will certainly be eligible. Of course, employers do not have to agree to furlough and may instead wish to explore changing an employee’s hours, unpaid leave or taking holidays as other options.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has now been extended further until the end of April 2021

Most of the eligibility requirements of the scheme remain the same but we note the following:-

  • Employers can still furlough employees for whom RTI submissions have been made between 20 March 2020 – 30 October 2020.
  • There is no longer a requirement that those employees should have been previously furloughed in order to be eligible for the scheme.
  • There is no cap on the number of employees who can be claimed for from November 2020 (as long as they were on the payroll on or before 30 October 2020).

Contact me with any questions

If you require any further information in relation to furlough and the new changes to the guidance, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

You can call us on 0161 969 3131 or fill in our contact form and one of the team will be in touch.