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“Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended again from 31 December 2020 to 31 March 2021″

On Thursday 5th November 2020, HM Treasury announced a further extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to 31 March 2021. This comes off the back of the announcement that the CJRS would continue from 1 November until 2 December 2020. The scheme will be reviewed in January 2021 and the Job Retention Bonus will not now be paid in February as a result of the extension of CJRS.

Under the extended scheme the Government will pay 80% of wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500, and employers will pay National Insurance contributions and pension contributions for those hours (as was the case in August 2020). Further details of the newly extended CJRS are contained in an HMRC policy paper.

The scheme is exceptionally flexible which is great for employers. Employers can use the scheme for employees for any amount of time/ shift pattern, furloughing employees on either a full-time or part-time basis, and can vary the hours worked in agreement with the employee. An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on its PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. Neither the employer/employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under the CJRS to make a claim under the extended CJRS.

Employees who were made redundant or stopped working after 23 September 2020 can be re-employed and claimed for. Any flexible furlough or furlough agreement made retrospectively that has effect from 1 November 2020 will be valid for the purposes of a CJRS claim (subject to compliance with employment laws).

However, only retrospective agreements put in place up to and including 13 November 2020 may be relied on for the purposes of a CJRS claim, therefore employers must move quickly. Claims can be made from 8am on 11 November 2020 and claims made for November must be submitted to HMRC by no later than 14 December 2020. Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month.

Further details and guidance on the scheme will be published on 10 November 2020.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact our Employment & HR department. 

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