The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of April 2021.

Will the eligibility criteria remain the same?

Yes, the eligibility criteria for the furlough scheme will remain unchanged. All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE scheme can claim the grant.

To be eligible to be claimed for under this scheme, employees must:

  • Be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020;
  • This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made between 20 March and 30 October 2020;
  • Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees; and
  • Employees do not need to have been furloughed under the CJRS previously.

How much will employers contribute?

  • Employers will be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions;
  • They will pay their employees for the time worked and the government grant for the time not worked; and
  • Employers will still be able to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense.

Claiming for holiday leave

Employers can also claim under the CJRS for paid leave taken while on furlough, including for bank holidays such as Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

If an employee is flexibly furloughed, any time taken as holiday can be counted as furloughed hours, rather than working hours.

Claiming for a Christmas bonus

Employers can claim for regular payments that they are contractually obliged to pay, including compulsory commission, fees and overtime.

They cannot claim for discretionary commission, non-contractual bonuses (including tips) and non-cash payments.

How much will the government contribute?

  • The government will continue to cover the cost of 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked; and
  • The grant must be paid to the employee in full.

How to calculate a claim

Before calculating a claim, employers must have worked out:

  • The length of the claim period;
  • What should be included when calculating wages; and
  • Employees’ usual and furloughed hours.

Claim periods

Claim periods are made up of the days the grant is being claimed for. The start date of the first claim period is when the first employee was furloughed.

Claim periods must start and end with the same calendar month and last at least seven days, unless the claim includes either the first or last day of the calendar month.

Calculating wages

For employees that were already on furlough in October and that are paid a fixed salary, the same usual wage calculations should be made.

The amount that should be used when calculating 80% of employees’ wages for hours not worked, is made up of the regular payments you are obliged to make. Further details can be found here.

Employees’ usual and furloughed hours

There is no requirement to calculate usual and furloughed hours for fully furloughed employees.

For flexibly furloughed employees, the usual hours, actual hours and furloughed hours should all be recorded for each claim period. There are different calculations for usual hours, depending on whether the employee works fixed or variable hours. Further details can be found here.

The CJRS calculator

The CJRS calculator can be used to work out the amount employers can claim for, including most employees who are paid either regular or variable amounts each pay period.

However, these are some employment circumstances in which the calculator cannot be used. Full details of these can be found here, scroll down to the ‘Use the calculator’ section.

Access the CJRS calculator here.

How to make a claim

There are now monthly deadlines for making a claim, meaning that claims may need to be submitted earlier than in previous months.  Claims can be made before, during or after payroll is processed.

Monthly claim deadlines

All claims must be submitted by 11:59pm by the dates below.

14 January 2021: final date to submit claims for December 2020

15 February 2021: final date to submit claims for January 2021

15 March 2021: final date to submit claims for February 2021

14 April 2021: final date to submit claims for March 2021

14 May 2021: final date to submit claims for April 2021.

Make a claim here, by clicking on the ‘Claim now’ button.

To make a claim you will need the Government Gateway ID and password received when you registered for PAYE online.

Records must be kept for six years, to support the amount of CJRS grants that are claimed.

Click here to find out what to do if too much has been claimed.

Click here to find out what to do if not enough has been claimed.

We appreciate this is a challenging time for many businesses and the guidance and support available is changing on a regular basis. We will continue to keep our news pages up-to-date with the latest information and guidance, however should you have any queries do get in touch with your usual M+A Partners contact or email and we will be happy to help.