Earlier this week it was announced that the Job Retention Scheme would be extended potentially until the end of March 2021. Although full guidance will not be published until 10th November some further information has been released. Here’s what we know so far…
Who’s Eligible for the Extended Job Retention Scheme?
- Employees who were included in an RTI submission to HMRC prior to 30th October 2020. This includes those who have not been furloughed before as well as those workers previously furloughed.
- Leavers can be re-employed and furloughed if they were still employed on 23rd September 2020 and since left employment.
- It is not intended for short term sickness but sick employees can be furloughed if furlough is needed for business reasons. Sick employees must be paid at least SSP.
Full-furlough or Flexi-furlough
HMRC have confirmed that full and flexi-furlough can be used for newly furloughed workers and those including in the original scheme.
Calculating Furlough Rates
Furlough rates for employees who have previously been furloughed will be calculated in the same way as the original job retention scheme.
New entrants to the scheme will have their furlough rates calculated in a similar way but the reference salary will now be the salary in the last pay period ending on or before 30th October. For workers with variable pay the reference period will be 6th April 2020 – the day before their CJRS starts (reference period reduced if they started after 6th April).
Usual working hours will be calculated using the same reference periods.
Topping Up Furlough
Employers can choose to top up employees pay (although they don’t have to). If employees are taking annual leave while on furlough their pay must be topped up to 100%.
How to Process Re-claims?
This will be done through HMRC online services. The portal for November will open from 11th November. Claims must be made by the 14th December for claim period 1st November – 30th November and the 14th of each future month for the previous month claim period.
The job retention scheme bonus (which was due to be paid in February) has also been pushed back.
We will confirm further details as soon as full guidance is realised on 10th November.