On 26 March 2020 HMRC published its first guidance on the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Since then the CJRS has evolved and been extended throughout the course of the summer until 31 October 2020 where it was due to be replaced with the Job Support Scheme (JSS).
Following the announcement on 31 October by the Prime Minister that England would be returning to a national lockdown on 5 November 2020 until 2 December 2020, it was decided that the CJRS would be extended until December 2020 and that the JSS would not be introduced until the CJRS has ended. Since then the CJRS has been further extended until 31 March 2021.
Here we look at the changes that we know about to the extended CJRS and who may be entitled to claim from it. Full guidance for the CJRS extension was published by HMRC on 10 November 2020. The guidance for claim periods from February 2021 onwards will be published following the government’s review, due in January 2021.
Please refer back to this Q&A for any further updates. For any other queries concerning furlough and the original CJRS please see our Q&A on Coronavirus: Furlough leave and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Click on the question links to go to a specific section of this Q&A:
- What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?
- How will the CJRS be changing from 5 November onwards?
- Who can claim?
- How do I calculate what I can claim from the CJRS?
- How do I calculate what the maximum amount is I can claim from the CJRS?
- Can I claim for employees who are unable to work due to health conditions or caring responsibilities?
- Can I claim for an employee who previously was made redundant or stopped working for me?
- Can I claim for employees who are on or are returning from statutory parental leave?
- How long must furlough be for?
- How do I furlough an employee?
- Do I need to keep any records?
- What do I do if my employee doesn’t agree to be furloughed?
- How do I claim on the CJRS?
- Can I claim from the CJRS for wages paid to a furloughed employee during their notice period?
- What happens to the employee’s rights during a period of furlough?
- What happens to holiday rights during furlough?
- Can my employee take part in training, work for another employer or take part in any voluntary work whilst they are furloughed under the extended CJRS?
- What about new employees that I have under TUPE?
- Will my details be published by HMRC if I make a claim under the CJRS?
- Will I be eligible for the Job Retention Bonus?
- Will I be entitled to claim via the Job Support Scheme?
The government introduced a new temporary Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) starting from 1 March 2020 where employers can agree with their employees to change their work status to a furloughed worker and the government will provide financial support for employers who do this. The CJRS is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. The government recognise that different businesses face different impacts from coronavirus and therefore all employers are eligible to claim under the scheme. Furlough is a new concept in UK employment law, but it means the employee is on a period of leave.
The CJRS was due to end on 31 October 2020. However, following the government’s announcement on that day that England are to go back into lockdown for 4 weeks from Thursday 5 November, they also confirmed that the CJRS was to be extended until December 2020. Since then the CJRS has been further extended until 31 March 2021. HMRC have stated that the original CJRS rules will remain the same except where they have been specifically changed.
Employers can find more information from HMRC on the government website.
Check if you can use the scheme:
- Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Work out what you can claim:
- Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Find examples to help you calculate your employees' wages
Claim and report earnings:
- Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Reporting employees' wages to HMRC when you've claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
HMRC has confirmed the scheme will essentially mirror that which was in place up until 31 August 2020 with amendments where specified. In summary;
- Eligible employees will receive up to 80% of their current salary for hours not worked to a maximum of £2,500/month paid for by the government for claim periods running to January 2021.
- The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
- Employer contributions during the CJRS extension until January 2021 will be the same as in August 2020. Employers will only be required to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked, and should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.
- The government will review the policy in January 2021 to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
- As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense.
- Employers will have to pay the employee’s wages for the hours they work as normal, as well as employer National Insurance and employer pension contributions.
- Flexi-furlough continues allowing employers to bring back employees part-time and still claim under the CJRS for hours not worked.
- Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
- The limit on how many employees that could be claimed for in any claim period starting from 1 July 2020 will no longer apply to claims made from 1 November 2020.
- The Job Support Scheme has been postponed and will be introduced following the end of the CJRS.
Any UK business that has employees on their PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020. This date has been extended from the original qualifying date for the CJRS. A UK bank account which accepts BACS payments will be needed. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.
Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS, but in these cases they will not be able to claim for a period starting before 1 November 2020. Eligible employers can claim whether their businesses are open or closed, and not all of their employees need to be furloughed. For further information on how to select which employees to furlough when there is work for only some of them, please see What should I do if I have enough work for some but not all my employees and would still like to make use of the CJRS?
The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.
- Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees and will be able to vary the hours worked with the employee’s agreement.
- Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
- Employers will be paid upfront to cover wages costs. There will be a short period when HMRC need to change the legal terms of the scheme and update their systems, but businesses will be paid in arrears for that period.
- When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.
- Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
- For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.
HMRC has an online calculator, however, the calculator does not cover all scenarios and HMRC is clear that it is the employer’s responsibility to check that the amount being claimed is correct. HMRC advise employers to use the calculation they think best fits the way their employee is paid. HMRC will not decline or seek repayment of any grant based solely on the particular choice of pay calculation, as long as a reasonable choice of approach is made.
This calculator can be used to work out what you can claim. It can be used for most employees who are paid either regular or variable amounts each pay period (for example, weekly or monthly).
If you are claiming for an employee who is flexibly furloughed, you will need to work out their usual hours before you use the calculator.
HMRC has produced worked examples of how to work out employee’s usual hours, furloughed hours and 80% of their normal wage.
Employees who have previously been claimed for under CJRS or were eligible to be furloughed under the CJRS previously:
When claiming under the extended CJRS for an eligible employee who has previously been furloughed or was eligible to be furloughed but no claim was made previously, employers must use the same calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours as they would or could have in August 2020. This will apply to all employees on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.
For employees on fixed pay employed on or after 20 March 2020, the last pay period prior to 30 October 2020 provides the basis for calculation. For employees on variable pay or hours, employed after 20 March, the average of tax year 2020 to 2021 up to the start of the furlough provides the basis for calculation.
For claims between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 employers will be able to claim a grant for 80% of usual wages up to a maximum government grant of £2,500 per month per employee for the time the employee spends on furlough. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked.
Please see our Coronavirus: Furlough leave and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Q&A for more detail on how to calculate what you must pay and what you may claim.
Employees who were not previously eligible for the CJRS:
When claiming under the extended CJRS for an eligible employee who has not previously been furloughed, 80% of their wages must be calculated as follows for employees:
- on a fixed salary - 80% of the wages payable in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020
- whose pay varies - 80% of the average payable between (these dates are inclusive) the start date of their employment or 6 April 2020 (whichever is later) and the day before their CJRS extension furlough periods begins
If an employee with fixed pay has worked enough overtime to have a significant effect on the amount an employer needs to claim, the 80% of their usual wages should be calculated using the method for employees whose pay varies.
80% of wages is capped at the maximum wage amount- this is calculated in the in the way it was for CJRS before the extension.
To work out 80% of your employee’s wage who is on a fixed salary:
- Start with the wages payable to your employee in their reference period - if you’re claiming for a full pay period, skip to step 4.
- Divide by the total number of days in the pay period.
- Multiply by the number of furlough days in the pay period.
- Multiply by 80%.
To work out 80% of your employee’s average wages whose pay varies, between 6 April 2020 (or, if later, the date the employment started) and the day before they are furloughed on or after 1 November 2020:
- Start with the amount of wages that were payable to the employee from 6 April 2020 and up to the employee’s first day spent on furlough on or after 1 November 2020.
- Divide it by the number of days they’ve been employed since the start of the tax year – including non-working days (up until the day before they were furloughed).
- Multiply by the number of furlough days in the pay period (or partial pay period) you are claiming for.
- Multiply by 80%.
Please see our Coronavirus: Furlough leave and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Q&A for more detail on how to calculate the maximum wage amount.
Employers will also need to calculate the employee’s usual hours:
- The usual hours for an employee who is contracted for a fixed number of hours and whose pay does not vary according to the number of hours they work, will be the contracted hours worked in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020.
- For an employee who works variable hours, their usual hours will be the average hours worked between (these dates are inclusive):
- the start date of the 2020 to 2021 tax year, (for example, 6 April 2020)
- the day before their CJRS extension furlough periods begins
To work out the usual hours for each pay period (or partial pay period) based on the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2020 to 2021:
- Start with the number of hours actually worked (or on paid annual leave or flexi-leave) from 6 April 2020 and up to the employee’s first day spent on furlough on or after 1 November 2020.
- Divide by the number of calendar days the employee was employed by you in the tax year 2020 to 2021, up until the day before they were furloughed. (Do not include any calendar days where the employee was on a period of statutory sick pay related leave, family related statutory leave, reduced rate paid leave following a period of statutory sick pay related leave or reduced rate paid leave following a period of family related statutory leave
- Multiply by the number of calendar days in the pay period (or partial pay period) you are claiming for.
- Round up or down if the result isn’t a whole number.
The minimum furlough pay is the lesser of either:
- 80% of their usual wage
- the maximum wage amount
If your employee is flexibly furloughed the minimum furlough pay depends on their working and furloughed hours.
- Start with the lesser of:
- 80% of their usual wages
- the maximum wage amount
- Multiply by the employee’s furloughed hours.
- Divide by the employee’s usual hours.
This is the minimum amount you must pay your employee for the time they are recorded as being on furlough. You can choose to pay more than this but you do not have to.
If any of the furlough hours are taken as paid holiday or annual leave, you need to top up the pay for these hours to the employee’s full contracted rate.
The maximum wage amount you can claim is 80% of your employee’s wage, with the maximum claim capped at £2,500 a month, or £576.92 a week for the time that they are furloughed. If they are flexibly furloughed at any time, the cap is adjusted pro rata.
If the length of time you’re claiming for is not one week or one month, you’ll need to use the daily maximum wage amounts to work out the maximum amount you can claim for each employee.
To work out the maximum amount you can claim, multiply the daily maximum wage amount by the number of days your employee is furloughed for in your claim.
|Month||Daily maximum wage amount|
|November 2020||£83.34 per day|
|December 2020||£80.65 per day|
|January 2021||£80.65 per day|
If you’re claiming for multiple pay periods in one claim, you can calculate the total maximum using a mixture of:
- the daily maximum wage amount
- the weekly maximum wage amount
- the monthly maximum wage amount
Can I claim for employees who are unable to work due to health conditions or caring responsibilities?
Yes, employees can be furloughed under the extended CJRS where they are unable to work because:
- They are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health guidance
- They have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, including looking after children
The CJRS is not intended for short-term sick absences. If, however, employers want to furlough employees for business reasons and they are currently off sick, they may do so but short-term illness/self-isolation should not be a consideration in deciding whether to furlough an employee.
Furloughed employees who become ill, due to coronavirus or any other cause, must be paid at least Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or any contractual sick pay they are entitled to. As it was previously under the CJRS, it is up to employers to decide whether to move these employees onto SSP or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate ensuring that they receive at least their minimum sick pay entitlement within that rate.
Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. You must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
Similarly, an employee who was on a fixed term contract, on payroll on 23 September, and that contract expired after 23 September can be re-employed and claimed for, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met.
If your employee returns from maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity or parental bereavement leave and you are claiming in respect of a period that starts on or after 1 November, the normal scheme rules apply.
Ending maternity leave early to be furloughed
If your employee decides to end their maternity leave early to enable them to be furloughed (with your agreement), they will need to give you at least eight weeks’ notice of their return to work unless you have been able to agree a shorter notice period. You will not be able to furlough them until the end of the eight8 weeks, or the date that you have agreed they can return to work.
If your employee is getting Maternity Allowance while they’re on maternity leave, they should not get furlough pay at the same time. If your employee has agreed to be put on furlough, they will need to contact Jobcentre Plus to stop their Maternity Allowance payments.
Unlike the original CJRS up until 30 June 2020, there is no minimum period of furlough needed under the extended CJRS, regardless if an employee is fully or flexibly furloughed, although the period claimed for must be for a minimum claim period of seven consecutive calendar days. There is also no maximum period of time for furlough or limit on the number of times an employee may be furloughed while the CJRS is live.Return to menu
Once you have either agreed to change the employee’s status to furlough worker or have established that you have the express contractual right to make such a change, you must write to your employee confirming the arrangements, including when it will take affect from and what contractual rights may or may not apply during the furlough leave period. Please see our online template letter to send to your employees. If you need to re-furlough any employees who have previously been furloughed, it is advisable that you use the latest version of the letter available on our website at every time of furlough. It is best practice, although not essential, to ask the employee to sign a copy of the letter and return it to you. Click here for ACAS template letters you can use if you need to extend a period of furlough.
If you are changing the furlough agreement to a flexible furlough arrangement you will need to have and keep records of new, up to date written confirmation of this. Please see our template letter for arranging flexible furlough.
In normal circumstances the agreement should be made prior to the change in hours, but HMRC acknowledge that the extension was not announced in time for this to be done and therefore provided it is done on or before 13 November 2020, agreements can be made retrospectively to take effect from 1 November 2020. The agreement must still be made in accordance with the rest of the conditions of the CJRS.
HMRC’s guidance asks employers to keep their employees informed, answering any questions that they might have and to ask their employees not to contact HMRC as they will be unable to provide employees with details of claims made by their employer.Return to menu
Employers must confirm in writing than an employee has been furloughed and ensure that a record of this is kept for five years from the date of furlough (until at least 30 June 2025). Records of any change to the furlough arrangement, including flexible furlough, will also need to be kept.
Usual payroll records must also be kept for 6 years. Your records must show:
- The amount claimed and claim period for each employee
- The claim reference number
- Your calculations in case HMRC need any further information
- For flexible furloughed employees: the usual hours they work and the actual hours worked.
If you need to re-furlough an employee this must be confirmed in writing again. ACAS has template letters you can use if you need to extend a period of furlough.Return to menu
Employees cannot be forced onto furlough leave unless there is an express applicable lay off clause in their contract or you follow the correct change of contract procedures. Where there is no such clause and the employee refuses to agree to a period of furlough leave you should consider if they are going to be at risk of redundancy or termination of employment. Please contact CallFirst for further advice before taking any further action.Return to menu
Claims made through the original CJRS were through an online portal and this continues to be the case for the extended CJRS. The extended CJRS will operate as the previous scheme did, in several respects:
- Employers must report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.
- Employers will need to report actual hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
The claim period must start and end within the same calendar month. If the pay period includes days in more than one month, each of those claims will need to be calculated separately. Claim periods cannot overlap, and employees claimed for will need to be included in each separate claim made.
An employer can make a claim in anticipation of an imminent payroll run, at the point they run their payroll or after they have run their payroll. A claim cannot be submitted more than 14 days before the claim period end date. You do not have to wait until the end date of the claim period for a previous claim before making your next claim and you can make your claim more than 14 days in advance of the pay date (for example, if you pay your employee in arrears). There will be a short period when the legal terms of the scheme and system are updated. Businesses will need to claim in arrears for this period. There will be no gap in eligibility of support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS on 31 October 2020 and the extension starting 1 November 2020.
Employers will be able to claim from 8am on Wednesday 11 November 2020. Claims can be made:
- In respect of an employee for a minimum seven-day claim window
- In advance
- In arrears for the period from 1 November 2020 to 11 November 2020, from the week commencing 9 November 2020
Claims relating to November 2020 must be made by 14 December 2020. Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month, to ensure prompt claims following the end of the month which is the subject of the claim. If this time falls on the weekend or bank holiday then claims should be submitted by the next working day. HMRC may accept a claim made after the relevant deadline if there is a reasonable excuse for failing to make a claim in time and the claim was made without delay after the excuse no longer applied, however reasonable excuses will not be considered in advance of a claim deadline. The closing date for claims up to and including 31 October remains 30 November 2020.
Grants payments will be made within six working days of claims.
If you make an error in your claim that has resulted in you receiving too little money, you will still need to make sure you pay your employees the correct amount. For claims relating to periods after 1 November 2020, you will only be able to increase the amount of your claim if you amend the claim within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to (unless this falls on a weekend or bank holiday and then it is the next working day). For example, to amend a claim for November 2020, you must amend the claim by 11.59pm on Tuesday 29 December 2020.Return to menu
The original CJRS allowed employers to continue to claim for the furloughed hours of an employee who is serving their notice period, however grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments. HMRC has said they will continue to monitor businesses after the scheme has closed.
Where an employee is flexibly furloughed, they are entitled to receive full pay for their working hours and this cost will be met entirely by the employer. Any claim made from the CJRS for the furloughed hours in a notice period will be subject to the CJRS rules on limits and employer contributions. The reason for termination of employment does not need to be for redundancy in order to claim from the CJRS but the employee must have been genuinely and legitimately furloughed.
HMRC changed their guidance on 13 November 2020 so that for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, employers cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which the furloughed employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period for the employer (this includes people serving notice of retirement or resignation). If an employee subsequently starts a contractual or statutory notice period on a day covered by a previously submitted claim, you will need to make an adjustment.
New legislation was introduced from 31 July 2020 requiring employers to ensure that furloughed employees who receive statutory notice payments have those sums calculated on the basis of their full, normal rate of pay rather than any reduced rate they may have been receiving while on furlough under the CJRS. The legislation also applies to furloughed employees who receive statutory redundancy payments, however as stated above, the CJRS will not fund any part of redundancy payments.
If you are considering paying a furloughed employee in lieu of their notice period, please contact CallFirst for further information.Return to menu
The employee will remain employed during the leave and continue to benefit from their statutory and contractual rights, other than the right to pay. Holiday rights will continue to accrue, see – ‘What happens to holiday rights during furlough?’. As part of the agreement to furlough it may be possible to agree to vary some of the contractual rights so that they don’t apply during furlough but this will be a matter of negotiation between employer and employee. For those employees with two years of more service, they will continue to be protected employees and have the right to make a claim for any unfair dismissal during a period of furlough.
Employees who are flexibly furloughed will be entitled to be paid their normal wage for the hours they work. There is no government contribution towards any of these wage costs.Return to menu
Furloughed employees continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract. During furlough the employer and employee can agree to vary holiday entitlement only which is over and above the 5.6 weeks of statutory paid annual leave. HMRC have confirmed that employees can take holiday whilst on furlough, although we are waiting to see if there is any change to this for the extended CJRS.
If a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay the usual holiday pay in accordance with the Working Time Regulations (WTR). Employers will be obliged to top up the grant from the CJRS for any time deemed to be holiday and ensure that full holiday pay is paid for that day/s.
If an employee is flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours. Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period.
Any requests for holiday from the employee or requirements by the employer to take holiday should be made as per the employer’s and WTR procedures.
If an employee usually works bank holidays then the employer can agree that this is included in the furloughed period and payment. If the employee usually takes the bank holiday as leave then the employer must either top up the furlough pay to their usual holiday pay or keep it as a furlough day and give the employee a day of holiday in lieu.
HMRC has said that as this is such an unprecedented time, they are keeping the policy on holiday pay during furlough under review. If there are any further changes our guidance will be updated to reflect this.
The government has produced a new online guide: Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19) which gives an explanation of how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic and where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance, including how furloughed employees may be affected.
Can my employee take part in training, work for another employer or take part in any voluntary work while they are furloughed under the extended CJRS?
As under the CJRS rules previously, during hours which employees are recorded as being on furlough, they cannot do any work for their employer that makes money or provides services for their employer or any organisation linked or associated with their employer.Return to menu
A new employer is eligible to claim in respect of the employees of a previous business transferred as long as:
- the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership
- the employees being claimed for have been:
- transferred from their old employer to their new employer on or after 1 September 2020
- employed by either their old employer or new employer on 30 October 2020
- on a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC, by their old or new employer between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee
For claims that have been made during December 2020 and onwards, HMRC will publish employer names, an indication of the value of the claim and, for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) the company registration number of those who have made claims under the scheme. Further detail on how HMRC will give an indication of the value of the claim will be available from late November.
HMRC will not publish details of employers claiming through the scheme if they can show that publicising these would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to certain individuals, or any individual living with them.
Those individuals include:
- employers that are individuals - a relevant individual can be the employer themselves, or any employee of the employer
- employers that are companies - a relevant individual can be a director, officer or employee of that company
- employers that are partnerships - a relevant individual can be a partner, officer or employee of that partnership
- employers that are limited liability partnerships - a relevant individual can be a member or employee of that limited liability partnership
- trustees of a trust - a relevant individual can be a settlor, trustee or beneficiary of the trust
If you think that a serious risk of violence or intimidation will come from publicising your name, company registration number and amount of claim, you will need to inform HMRC with evidence of why you think this. This evidence could include:
- a police incident number if you’ve been threatened or attacked
- documentary evidence of a threat or attack, such as photos or recordings
- evidence of possible disruption or targeting
Further details on how to request that HMRC does not publish your details will be available soon, providing employers enough time to do this before the first publication date.Return to menu
On 8 July 2020, the Chancellor announced the introduction of the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) as part of his ‘Plans for Jobs’.
This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021.
The intention was for employers to claim the bonus from 15 February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31 January has been received, but it was announced on 5 November that the JRB will not be paid in February and a retention incentive will be deployed at the appropriate time. The purpose of the JRB was to encourage employers to keep people in work until the end of January. However, as the CJRS is now being extended to 31 March 2021, the policy intent of the JRB no longer applies.
The Job Support Scheme (JSS) is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. The scheme was due to be available from 1 November 2020 but will now be introduced following the end of the extended CJRS.
It is separate from the CJRS and it will have no impact if employers have claimed from the CJRS or not previously.
The JSS provides different types of support to these businesses so they can get the right assistance, at the right time, according to their situation. Businesses that are operating but facing decreased demand can get support for wages through JSS Open. Those businesses that are legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by the governments can get the support they need through JSS Closed, this was previously referred to as the expanded Job Support Scheme.
To be eligible for a claim under the JSS Open, the employee must work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours and the employer will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the cost of hours not worked will be split between the employer, the government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job.
The JSS Closed will pay two thirds of eligible employees’ usual wages, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per employee per month. Employers are not required to contribute towards wages but are required to cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
HMRC produced guidance the day before it was announced that the scheme was being delayed due to the extension of the CJRS. The guidance has since been withdrawn.
Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.
For more information on the JSS Open and JSS Closed please see our separate advice page on the Job Support Scheme.
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