On 31 October 2020, when the National Lockdown starting on 5 November was announced, the Government also announced the extension of the CJRS Furlough Scheme which was due to end on 31 October.
On 5th November Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the furlough scheme, which has already been extended throughout November, will now be extended further until 31 March 2021.
The CJRS is now extended, and starts from 1 November 2020.
Both large and small employers will be eligible to claim the CJRS, and will have the flexibility to have employees fully furloughed or flexibly furloughed on a part time basis. Both full and flexible furlough schemes have been extended.
The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so for furloughed employees the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and for the hours the employee does not work, employers will only pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions.
Who is eligible for extended CJRS?
- All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim CJRS.
- Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used 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.
- To be eligible under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 30th October 2020, and be included on a Real Time Information (RTI) submitted to HMRC on or before 30th October 2020.
- As under the previous CJRS scheme, employees can be on any type of contract.
- Employers must agree with the employees the new working arrangements, which should be in place for a minimum 7 consecutive day period and this must be confirmed in writing.
- Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to the employee’s usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
- Employers will need to report and claim for furloughed hours for a minimum period of 7 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.
What support is being provided and employer costs:
- For hours not worked by the employee, the government will pay 80% of furloughed wages up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
- The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
- Employers will pay employer NICs and employer pension contributions on the furlough pay for both the full and flexible furlough schemes.
- All PAYE tax/NIC deductions made/due from furlough pay must be remitted to HMRC within the normal monthly payment dates and cannot be included in any time to pay arrangements that may be in place.
- As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
- The employer must meet the cost of wages for all hours worked in the normal way, including employers NIC and employer pension contribution.
- This extended CJRS will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. There will initially be a short period of delay as the Government needs to update the system, and businesses will be paid in arrears for that period.
- The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee CJRS costs for November.
- There will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
The Job Support Scheme (JSS), which was originally due to start on 1 November 2020, will be introduced following the end of the CJRS. We will provide more detailed information on the operation of JSS on a separate update.