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The Latest: Extension of the Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme

6th November 2020

The Chancellor recently announced that this scheme will now extend to 31 March 2021.

For claim periods leading up to 31 January 2021 an employee will receive up to 80% of their usual salary for unworked hours. This amount is capped at £2,500 per employee for each month, also this cap is proportionately adjusted for the hours not worked. The employer may still top up salary payments if they chose to do so.

As of yet we do not know what level of payments the government will make in February and March 2021. This should be decided in the new year.

Eligibility Criteria

 The scheme is open to an employer whether they are closed or remain open for business.

Crucially, a claim may be made for an employee who was not previously on the scheme. However, for the employee to be eligible, they must be on the payroll as at 30 October 2020 and an Real Time Information (RTI) submission must have been made between 30 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, detailing a payment of earnings to that employee.

What About Employees Re-employed?

If an employee was on the payroll as at 23 September 2020 and they subsequently ceased working for their employer (e.g. through redundancy), then they can be re-employed and a claim for them may be made under this scheme. This though is dependent on an RTI submission being made for that employee between 20 March 2020 and 23 September 2020, which gives details of a payment made.

Tax Matters

These grants will be taxable in the hands of the employers and the payments employees receive under this scheme will be taxable income.

Employers will still be required to pay Secondary (Employers) National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions due in full.

When and How can the Claims be Made?

As before, any claim must be made for a minimum of seven consecutive calendar days.

We understand that from 11 November 2020 claims may be made. It is important to note that the deadline for making claims for the month of November 2020 is 14 December 2020. For subsequent months the deadline for making a claim is 14 days after that month has ended (so for a claim made for December 2020 the deadline is 14 January 2021).

HMRC anticipate that the grant payments will be awarded 6 days from the first claim.

If we are authorised agents for PAYE we will be able to submit these claims on your behalf.

HMRC, mentioned they will publish more details on how claims may be made later next week.

What About the Job Support Scheme?

The launch of this scheme has been delayed. It was meant to be introduced in November, though we would expect for this to be delayed until at least the end of March 2021 given the recent extension to the Job Retention Scheme

What About the Job Retention Bonus Scheme?

This was original designed with the aim of incentivising employer to retain staff until the end of January. However, given the extension to the Job Retention Scheme beyond January 2021, the bonus scheme will not be paid in February 2021. The government will review this scheme and make any incentive payments for staff retention (if they chose to do so still) at a later date.

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