Following receipt of the Treasury Direction (13th November 2020), iterations of the HMRC Extended Furlough Guidance (extended Furlough Guidance) and further Guidance of yesterday, 19 November 2020, what do we know?

 

  • The new extended Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) enables Employers to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full time;
  • Employers are also able to use the new CJRS for employees for whom they had not previously used the scheme;
  • The Employer will cover the National Insurance and pension contributions with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 (similar to how the scheme was in August 2020);
  • All Employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE scheme can claim the grant;
  • To be eligible employees must be on an Employer’s PAYE payroll by 23.59 on 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;
  • Employees can be on any type of contract and will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees. This means employees may be asked to undertake some of their normal contractual hours and be on furlough for the rest of the time. Similarly the employee may be asked to work one week on, one week off, or some hours a week, or some days a week, subject to operational requirements;
  • Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working.
  • Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in any claim period.  A claim will be for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days;
  • For worked hours employees will be paid by the Employer in the normal way and such amounts will be subject to NIC and tax;
  • As with the old CJRS Scheme Employers are still able to top an employee’s wages above the scheme grant at their own expense;
  • Employees can be furloughed if they are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding). However whether or not to utilise the scheme for such employees is entirely at the Employer’s discretion;
  • Employees who were on the payroll on 23 September 2020 but subsequently made redundant after this date can be re-employed and claimed for;
  • The Job Support Scheme has been put on hold and the Job Retention Bonus withdrawn;
  • For claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, an Employer cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which the employee is serving contractual or statutory notice whether as a result of redundancy, resignation or retirement;
  • From December 2020 HMRC will publish employer names for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships, the Company registration number of those who have made claims under the scheme for the month of December onwards;

 

 

Time Limits for Furlough Claims:

 

This information was released yesterday, 19th November 2020, and sets out both the time limits for submitting a claim and what might constitute a ‘reasonable excuse for failing to make a claim in time.’

 

The deadlines are:

Claim for furlough days in Claim must be submitted by
 November 2020  14 December 2020
 December 2020  14 January 2021
 January 2021  15 February 2021
 February 2021  15 March 2021
 March 2021  14 April 2021

The HMRC guidance states that the following examples ‘may’ amount to a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline:

  • your partner or another close relative died shortly before the claim deadline
  • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your claim
  • you had a serious or life-threatening illness, including Coronavirus related illnesses, which prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could claim for you)
  • a period of self-isolation prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could make the claim for you)
  • your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online claim
  • service issues with HMRC online services prevented you from making your claim
  • a fire, flood or theft prevented you them from making your claim
  • postal delays that you could not have predicted prevented you from making your claim
  • delays related to a disability you have prevented you from making your claim
  • a HMRC error prevented you from making your claim

 

 

Lastly I would remind all clients that FURLOUGH AGREEMENTS must be in place before the start of the relevant claim period and a written record kept for five years for HMRC inspection.

 

 

A new revised Furlough Agreement is now available for clients and can be obtained by contacting your Creideasach Employment Law Specialist directly.