The Government further updated its guidance on the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) last night. We have summarised the key new points below since our last briefing on 3 November.
- Extended to March 2021 – The CJRS has now been extended to 31 March 2021. For claim periods up to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their normal salary for hours not worked (capped at £2,500 per month). The percentage contribution for February and March may be reviewed by the Government.
- Backdated claims – If you wish to take advantage of the extended CJRS for employees furloughed from 1 November 2020, you have until this Friday, 13 November 2020 to put the relevant furlough agreements in writing in order for any backdated claim to be valid.
- Notice pay during furlough – The guidance states:-
“The government is reviewing whether employers should be eligible to claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, with further guidance published in late November.”
This would undoubtedly encourage employers to give notice to dismiss any employees (as redundant or otherwise) before 1 December 2020 so that the employer can claim for the notice pay of anyone working out his / her notice under the CJRS. We, however, await further guidance on this point.
- Employer names now published – From December 2020, HMRC will publish employer names for companies and LLPs, the company registration number of those who have made claims under the scheme for the month of December onwards. It is thought this is to prevent employers from claiming under the scheme without informing their employees whilst perhaps the employees are still working full time in breach of the scheme.
- Maternity – If you have any employees returning from maternity leave, they will be required to give the statutory 8 weeks’ notice to end maternity leave early in order to be furloughed (and get furlough pay, which would usually be higher than Statutory Maternity Pay).
- No Maximum number of furloughed employees – There is no longer a maximum number of employees you can put on furlough at any given time.
- Job Retention Bonus – The Job Retention Bonus has been shelved for now and the Government will review any incentive in due course.
A link to the Government’s guidance on the extended CJRS can be found here.
As ever, the position set out in this note may change as the Government guidance is revised and updated.
This article does not constitute legal advice and specific advice should be sought in respect of particular cases.