By Dee Woodcock
As from November 1, it will not matter that an employer or an employee may not have previously used the CJRS. Employers are still able to furlough employees on a flexible or full-time basis, as long as they have been on their PAYE payroll before midnight on October 30, 2020, and have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between March 20, 2020 and October 30, 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
Employers could agree to retrospectively furlough someone with effect from November 1, 2020, provided the agreement to retrospectively claim furlough occurred before November 13, 2020.
The employer, however, must confirm in writing to the employee that they have been furloughed, and will need to keep a written record of the Agreement for five years.
The scheme will run until April 30, 2021, and will initially match what was available under the CJRS in August. The government will pay 80% of wages for hours not worked up to a cap of £2,500 per month for claim periods to January 31, 2021. Employers will need to cover employer NICs and employer pension contributions on all amounts paid to an employee (including those amounts covered by the CJRS grants).
There is no maximum number of employees that employers can claim for. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers must report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days. An employee will not need to work a minimum number of hours or a particular pattern of work. Employers will be free to vary the hours worked, in agreement with the employee.
As previously under the CJRS, employers can still choose to top-up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish. The government intend to review the scheme in January 2021, to determine whether employers should contribute more as they did from August to November this year. As from December 1, 2020, employers will no longer be able to claim for any days an employee spends on notice in December 2020 or January 2021.
The Job Retention bonus has also been postponed as a result of the extension of the CJRS. It is not currently known whether it will be introduced after the CJRS ends.
At Sampson Coward we can advise on using the Furlough scheme and assist you with preparation of any documentation or queries in connection with it. Contact Dee or David at Sampson Coward Solicitors on 01722 820934 and 01722 820935, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com