As Lockdown 2.0 got underway for four weeks from 5 November 2020, the government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) would be extended to 31 March 2021 across the whole of the UK.
From 1 November, the UK Government will pay 80 per cent of employees’ regular wages for any hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The scheme will be reviewed in January 2021.
There is no need for employers or their staff to have previously benefited from the scheme in order to qualify to claim for periods from 1 November. Employers can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. Employers must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that member of staff.
How does the extended CJRS work?
The scheme can be used flexibly for any period of time or shift pattern. Staff can be furloughed on either a full time or part time basis, and hours can be varied to suit individual situations. Employees must still pay the taxes that would normally be deducted, and employers must pay Income Tax and employee National Insurance contributions to HMRC on the full amount paid to the employee, including any scheme grant. The CJRS does not cover employers’ National Insurance or pension contributions.
Monthly deadlines for claims have now been introduced. Claims for periods starting on or after 1 November must be submitted with 14 calendar days following the month they relate to. The exception is when the day falls on a weekend, in which case the deadline will be the next weekday.
Always be sure to keep any records in support of the amount you are claiming via the CJRS, in case HMRC wants to check them.
HMRC is running helpful live webinars which now offer added support on the changes to the CJRS. To book online, or to view updated guidance, go to GOV.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’.
What about the Job Retention Bonus and the Job Support Scheme?
The introduction of the CJRS extension means that the Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021. An alternative retention incentive will be introduced in due course. The launch of the Job Support Scheme has also been postponed.
Need help claiming under the extended CJRS?
Here at Office Assistants, we have helped businesses claim thousands of pounds in government assistance during the pandemic. If you would like assistance in making a claim, you are welcome to get in touch. Our team will be only too pleased to assist.