On the 5 November 2020 Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a further extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until March 2021.

The CJRS scheme (also known as the Furlough scheme) had already been extended until December and this further extension will see the government paying 80% of furloughed employees unworked hours, subject to a cap of £2,500, under the scheme.  The Government will contribute the full 80% until January 2021, when a  review will be undertaken It is not yet clear whether the percentage will be altered for February and March 2021. Full details of the current furlough scheme including eligibility and how it works can be found here. Employees that have previously been furloughed will have their wages calculated based on the existing furlough scheme.

Employees that have not previously been furloughed will still be able to claim through the scheme however the 80% wages will be calculated in one of several ways:

  • All employees on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 will be able to use the CJRS calculations that applied in August 2020 for reference pay and usual hours.
  • Those on fixed wages who were employed on or after 20 March 2020, will be calculated based on their last pay period on or before 30 October 2020.
  • Those on variable wages employed after 20 March 2020, will have their pay and hours calculated based on the average between their start date or the 6 April 2020 (whichever is later) and the day before their furlough period begins.

For employees that have left a company or been made redundant on or after 23 September 2020,  employers can, at their discretion, re-employ the employee and place them on furlough as long as they were on the payroll as of 23 September 2020 and an RTI submission had been made for them between 20 March 2020 and 23 September 2020.

As for the Job Support Scheme that was due to come into effect on the 1 November 2020, this has been postponed again until further notice. The job retention bonus will not now be paid in February 2021. A retention incentive is intended to be used at some point in the future but no details have yet been provided as to when or what the criteria will be.

The guidance and directions regarding this matter continue to change regularly so it is advised that employers and employees keep an eye on updates. Further guidance on the above is due to be published on 10 November.

If you would like any further information, please contact Wendo Chimimba on 0113 280 2135 or wendo.chimimba@luptonfawcett.law or another member of the employment law team.

If you are worried your business has made mistakes in the uptake and administration of the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) or are facing a Furlough Fraud investigation by HMRC, our team of expert Furlough Fraud Solicitors can offer you tailored legal advice and specialist representation.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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