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Update on the Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Following the Government’s recent announcement that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended until 31 March 2021, HMRC has now published guidance dealing with the requirements of the extended scheme. The main headlines for employers are as follows:

  1. The new guidance is incorporated in several documents aimed at assisting employers to determine a number of issues including which employees can be placed on the furlough and how much they can claim per employee. It is not a straightforward read.
  2. As we already know, the CJRS is open to people employed on 30 October 2020 so long as the employer made a real time information submission to HMRC by no later than 23:59 on that date.
  3. Employees who were made redundant or stopped working after 23 September 2020 and who are then rehired by the employer before 30 October 2020 can also be placed on furlough leave.
  4. Employees need not to have been furloughed previously in order to be able to be furloughed under the extended CJRS.
  5. There is no maximum number of employees that the employer can claim furlough grants for, you may remember that there were such restrictions previously which meant that employers could not claim furlough grants for a higher number of employees than they had previously done. This created operational issues for some employers who may have had to pay employees who would otherwise have been furloughed.
  6. The guidance states that the Government is reviewing the practice of the CJRS being used to cover employees’ contractual or statutory notice periods. It is said that there are likely to be changes to this approach for claim periods on or after 1 December 2020. Further guidance on this particular issue is due to be published later this month. It is not yet clear how this may affect furloughed employees who are served with notice of termination before 1 December 2020 and where the employer looks to cover notice pay with the furlough grant.

As ever, we will keep you posted on any updates to the CJRS.

If you would like to discuss the recent guidance and the potential implications for your business in more detail, talk to our friendly employment law team on 01482 325242, or email Nick directly on nick.wilson@andrewjackson.co.uk

Correct as of 3pm 13.11.2020

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