November 18, 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Updated HMRC Guidance

Employment law specialist, David Dixey, discusses updated guidance relating to the extended Furlough Scheme.

Most details about the extended Furlough Scheme (effective from 1st November 2020) are already known, but HMRC has issued updated guidance which confirms the following points:

  • Employers do not need to have used the CJRS before to be eligible to claim a grant under the extended Scheme. There is also no limit on the number of Employees an Employer can claim for in respect of claim periods from 1st November 2020 onwards.
  • Employers can claim for an employee on any type of Contract who were employed and on the payroll on 30th October 2020. The Employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020 notifying HMRC of a payment of earnings for the Employee. However, it is not necessary for the Employee to have been Furloughed before.
  • It is possible for Employers to make claims under the extended CJRS in respect of an Employee who transfers under TUPE or the business succession rules if the Employee:
    • Transferred from their previous Employer on or after 1st September 2020;
    • Was employed by either their old or new Employer on 30th October 2020;
    • Was on a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC by their old or new Employer between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that Employee.
  • Employers can claim under the extended CJRS for Furloughed Employees who are serving statutory notice periods during November. For claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, an employer cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which a furloughed employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period. Employees who have resigned or retired, and are serving a notice period, are also caught by this provision.  
  • Furlough Agreements with Employees must be in place.
  • Claims from 1st November 2020 must be submitted by 11:59pm, 14 calendar days after the month the Employer is claiming for. This means that claims for November 2020 must be submitted by 11:59pm on 14th December 2020.
  • HMRC may accept a claim made after the relevant deadline if the Employer has a “reasonable excuse” for failing to make the claim in time. HMRC will not consider a reasonable excuse until after the deadline for making a claim has past, meaning it will not be possible to obtain advance clearance for missing the deadline.
  • Employers will only be able to amend claims for periods after 1st November 2020 if they do so within 28 calendar days of the month the claim relates to. For example, this means that the deadline for amending a claim for November 2020 will be 11:59pm on 29th December 2020 (accounting for the bank holiday on 28th December 2020).
  • From December 2020, HMRC will publish the names of Employers who have made claims under the CJRS for that month onwards. This was not a feature of the CJRS previously.

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