Posted: Wed 30th Sep 2020
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which covers the part of the salaries for furloughed workers during the coronavirus pandemic, changes on 1 October. The scheme ends completely on 31 October and employers must make any final claims for the scheme by 30 November. CJRS will be replaced by the new Job Support Scheme.
From 1 October, the government will pay 60% of usual wages up to £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.
Furloughed employees must be paid at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work (up to a maximum £2,500 per month) so employers need to fund themselves the difference between this and the government contribution.
The caps are proportional to the hours not worked so if an employee is furloughed for half their usual hours, employers can claim 60% of their usual wages up to £937.50 (half of the £1,875 cap). Employers must make up the remaining 20% to cover the 80% total so they need to pay an employee working half their usual hours up to £1,250 (half of the £2,500 cap).
Employers must also continue to pay furloughed employees' National Insurance and pension contributions from their own funds.
You can calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here.
Businesses that have claimed too much in error
The government has urged employees to make sure each claim is accurate before submitting it, and also check previous claims to avoid penalties for claiming too much.
If you have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
90 days from receiving the CJRS money you or your client are not entitled to
90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you or your client were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
20 October 2020, if on or before 22 July you or your client received CJRS money you're not entitled to, or if circumstances changed.
If you do not repay the fund, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant.
You can let HMRC know if you've paid too much as part of your next online claim. The system will prompt you to add details if you have received too much. There is more information here.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closed on 31 October 2020. 30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims. Read the full government guidance here.
**Read a guide to the new Job Support Scheme, which replaces the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, here.
Read a guide to the Job Retention Bonus scheme, which launches in February 2021, here.**