Update from March 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was launched on 20 April 2020. With it, came a new status never used in UK payroll before – furlough.

FURLOUGH: “a period of time when a company stops employing someone, usually temporarily, because the company does not have enough money or enough work”

The original intent of the furlough was to make sure individuals could be paid at least 80% of their pre-COVID income, up to a maximum grant of £2,500 per month,

From the last full statistics that were published, it was confirmed that £46.4bn had been claimed under the scheme.

It has definitely led to a very busy and stressful year in payroll. I have no idea how many versions of guidance we’ve had but it’s been a lot!

Also we had the doomed Job Support Scheme that had 3 versions before it was even due to start and then it was scrapped altogether!

Publication of Claims

Towards the end of last year it was announced that HMRC would begin publishing the names of employers who were claiming on the job retention scheme.

So this will apply for claim periods starting on or after 1 December, the names will be published on a monthly basis, the list will use the name associated with the PAYE scheme and details will also show on an individual’s Personal Tax Account.

Just last week, the first list was published. The list contained almost three quarters of a million paye schemes. If you’re feeling nosey, then you can download a CSV from the gov.uk website with all of the names.

From February, the list will indicate how much has been claimed on each scheme and will be broken down across 14 bandings.

So these are the bandings that will be used.  A lot of zeros on some of these!

£1 to £10,000£1,000,001 to £2,500,000
£10,001 to £25,000£2,500,001 to £5,000,000
£25,001 to £50,000£5,000,001 to £10,000,000
£50,001 to 100,000£10,000,001 to £25,000,000
£100,001 to £250,000£25,000,001 to £50,000,000
£250,001 to £500,000£50,000,001 to £100,000,000
£500,001 to £1,000,000£100,000,001 and above

The published list of claimants will not include employers who have a successful or pending application to withhold their information, or those schemes that have paid back the whole grant before the list is produced. You’ll probably know about some of the companies that have paid back their furlough grants as they have been all over the press.

You can request that HMRC does not publish details about your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim, if you can show evidence that it would result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to: •you or anyone living with you •an individual associated with your business or anyone living with them

Examples of individuals associated with your business include:

  • an employee
  • a director, officer or employee of that company
  • a partner, officer or employee of that partnership
  • a member or employee of a limited liability partnership
  • a settlor, trustee or beneficiary of a trust

Evidence can be:

  • written details of why you think publication could lead to the threat of violence or intimidation
  • a police incident number if you’ve already been threatened or attacked
  • photos of a previous threat or attack
  • evidence of possible disruption or targeting
  • any other material which can support your request

Extension to 30 September

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be further extended until 30 September

support from government start to reduce from July. Although employees can still expect to receive 80% of their earnings, employers will be expected to share the burden. 

So in May and June the contribution from government will remain at 80% up to £2,500 per month.

From July, employers will need to make a contribution towards the cost of unworked hours with 10% in July and then 20% in August and 20% in September.

MayJuneJulyAugustSeptember
Government contribution80% up to £2,50080% up to £2,50070% up to £2,187.5060% up to £1,875.0060% up to £1,875.00
Employer contributionNoneNone10% up to £312.5020% up to £625.0020% up to £625.00
Employee receives80% up to £2,500 per month for hours not worked80% up to £2,500 per month for hours not worked80% up to £2,500 per month for hours not worked80% up to £2,500 per month for hours not worked80% up to £2,500 per month for hours not worked

From 1 May 2021

That brings us to an added extra that I don’t think many of us expected. Newly eligible employees.

For periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 2 March 2021, as long as you have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 2 March 2021 to claim for periods starting on or after 1 May 2021.

Up to 30 April 2021

For claim periods up to and including 30 April 2021 you can claim for employees who were employed at 11:59 on 30 October 2020 and had been submitted on an FPS between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.

There is an exemptions for those who left employment on or before 23 September 2020 that allows for them to be re-employed for the purpose of furloughing them.

Claims Deadlines

Claims must still be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend or a bank holiday then claims should be submitted on the next working day.

Check, check and triple check.  Try to make sure your claims are as accurate as possible before submitting.  When hmrc get around to their compliance checks you will need to make sure you are confident in the calculations you have used.

And on that subject. Keep copies of the guidance to support your claims. There have been a lot of changes making it virtually impossible to keep up!

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