HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the United Kingdom (UK) has released its full guidance for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) extension, which was first announced by the UK government on 31 October 2020. The scheme has since been extended until 31 March 2021.
On 10 November 2020, HMRC published various updated guidance documents relating to the CJRS, also known as the furlough scheme. We have written numerous LawFlashes over the past few weeks to keep up to date with the recent alterations to the CJRS, in light of the latest UK government initiatives to tackle COVID-19.
At present, an employer can continue to make a CJRS claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a notice period. However, the “Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the CJRS” guidance states that, for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, employers will no longer be able to claim for any days during which an employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period.
The “Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the CJRS” guidance announces that, from December 2020, HMRC will publish the names and company registration numbers of companies and LLPs that make CJRS claims for the month of December onwards.
The same guidance states that employers and employees can agree up until 13 November 2020 to retrospectively place an employee on furlough with effect from 1 November 2020. This only gives employers three working days from the release of this guidance to put such agreements in place.
The main details of the extended CJRS, effective from 1 November 2020, have not been changed by HMRC’s latest guidance. Until at least 31 January 2021:
As we reported in our most recent LawFlash on this topic, the government will review its contribution to employees’ salary for hours not worked in January 2021 based on the economic situation at the time (with Brexit due to occur on 1 January 2021).
The guidance confirms that all employees who have been on their employer’s PAYE payroll since no later than 30 October 2020, as well as employees whose role was made redundant on or after 23 September 2020 but who then rejoined their employer, can take part in the CJRS. The same applies to employees who were on fixed term contracts on 23 September 2020 which have since ended. There is no requirement for an employee to have previously benefitted from the CJRS.
Employers are reminded that 30 November 2020 in the last day they can submit or change claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.
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 See COVID-19 Updates in the UK: Job Support Scheme Amendments and Furlough Fraud; UK Government Extends Existing Job Support Scheme in Response to Latest COVID-19 Lockdown; and UK Government Extends Furlough Scheme Until 31 March 2021.