The Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (CJSS), which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed. Instead the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until March 2021.  Flexible furloughing will also be allowed.  For claim periods running to 31st January 2021, the Government will pay 80% of employee’s usual wages for hours not worked, capped at £2,500 per month. The Government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
The Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 will no longer be paid in February, as the CJRS has been extended until the end of March 2021.  Full guidance for the CJRS extension will be published on 10 November.
Employer contributions:  In recent months firms have had to top up furloughed wages by 20%, with the government paying 60% (up to a cap).  Now the government will pay the full 80% for hours not worked(up to a maximum of £2,500) and employers only need cover pension and national insurance contributions.
Eligibility:  All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.  Employees must have been on the employers PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30th October 2020, but they don’t need to have been furloughed before.  Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the scheme to be eligible.  There will be no gap in eligibility of support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS on 31st October 2020 and this extension starting 1st November 2020.
Employers must confirm in writing with their employee (or reached collective agreement with a trade union) that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed.  This written agreement must be kept for five years.  A record of the number of hours that employees work and the number of hours that they are furloughed must also be kept for six years.
Furlough options: Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time.
Furloughing employees who become ill or are unable to work due to other issues:  Employees can also be furloughed if they cannot work because:

  • They are shielding or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding
  • Have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus

Furloughed employees who become ill, due to coronavirus or any other cause, must be paid at least Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).  It is up to employers to decide whether to move these employees onto SSP or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate.
How to claim:  While the government updates the system, employers will need to submit their wage claim to the government and be refunded afterwards.  Employers will be able to claim from 8am on Wednesday 11th November 2020. Claims can be made:

  • in respect of an employee for a minimum 7-day claim window
  • in arrears for the period from 1st November 2020 to 11th November 2020, from 11th November 2020
  • in anticipation of an imminent payroll run, at the point they run their payroll or after they have run their payroll.

The closing date for claims up to and including 31st October is 30th November 2020. Claims relating to November 2020 must be made by 14th December 2020.  After that, claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by 14th of the following month.
The Government has said that further details on how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, will be provided on 10th November 2020.
Additional support available:
The government will also give firms:

  • business premises forced to close in England are eligible to receive grants worth up to £3000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant based on their rateable value as follows (ref: CIPD 2/11/20):
    • for properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants will be £1334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
    • for properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, grants will be £2000 per month, or £1000 per two weeks; and
    • for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants will be £3000 per month, or £1500 per two weeks.
  • A further £1.1 billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.
  • £1500 for every out of work 16 to 24-year-old given a ‘high quality’ six-month work placement
  • £2000 for every under 25-year-old apprentice taken on until the end of January or £1500 for over 25’s.
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides support to the self-employed. It was announced earlier this week that the November to January SEISS grant would be calculated at 55% of average monthly earnings.  However, yesterday (5thNovember) it was announced that this was being increased again to 80% of average monthly earnings capped at £7,500 for the 3-month period.  This means that the next grant will be in line with the first grant received earlier in the year.

Further information and expertise:
HR expertise:
If you want to talk over your specific situation or any queries feel free to call or e-mail Joanne at Integra HR at:
07852 651651
[email protected]

Useful links:
Government information about the extended furlough scheme and support to the self employed
guidance about CJRS and making claims
SEISS grant extension
Government business support

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