Job retention scheme latest news, 29 June 2020

Jun 29, 2020

Members can visit our dedicated UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) page, which provides guidance on the scheme. Download our factsheet on the who, what, where, when and why of the scheme. 

The publication of a further Treasury direction on the CJRS is now live.  This direction reflects the extension of the CJRS to 31 October, and the changes to the terms of the scheme from 1 July onwards, announced by the Chancellor on 12 May. It does not contain any new information about the scheme, but gives legal effect to the elements of the scheme that were set out in the guidance published 12 June. That guidance should continue to be the key point of reference for employers and employees.

HMRC has sent the below message regarding the commencement of flexible furloughing later this week from 1 July.

“We wrote to you recently to help you and your clients prepare for changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This is a reminder that you and your clients can start to flexibly furlough eligible employees from 1‌‌‌ ‌July onwards.

From 1‌‌‌ ‌July, you and your clients can claim a more flexible grant for any employee you have previously received a CJRS grant for, and who now returns to work on reduced hours. You can also continue to claim for employees who stay fully furloughed.

You can find guidance on eligibility and how to claim for flexibly furloughed employees by searching for 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

What you and your clients need to do next

  • claim for periods ending on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June, by 31‌‌‌ ‌J‌ul‌y this is the last date you can make those claims
  • agree the hours and shift patterns that you want employees to work from 1‌‌‌ ‌July
  • pay employees’ wages for the time they’re in work and apply for a job retention scheme grant to cover the remainder of their usual hours for which they are still furloughed
  • claim for further furlough periods as needed – the first time you will be able to make a claim for days in July will be 1‌‌‌ ‌July.

Live webinars offering more support on changes to the scheme and how they impact you and your clients are available to book online – go to GOV‌.UK and search 'help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus'.

We’d be grateful if you don’t call us for more information. All details are on GOV‌‌‌.UK and our webinars. This will leave our phone lines open for those who need them most.

What to do if you or your clients have overclaimed

Some employers have contacted us to let us know that they have claimed too much. If this applies to you or your clients, then all you need to do is tell us when you next claim so you can pay it back. You will be asked when making your claim whether you need to adjust the amount to take account of a previous error. Your new claim amount will be reduced to reflect this. You do not need to take any other action but should keep a record of this adjustment for six years.

If you or your clients have made an error in a previous claim but do not plan to submit further claims, you need to contact us to let us know, so that we can tell you how to repay the money.

Claiming for 100 or more employees?

Please use our new template to claim for periods starting on or after 1‌‌‌ ‌July to ensure your claim is processed quickly and successfully.

You can find this template by searching 'download a template if you're claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV.UK.

Updated guidance on military reservists

Our guidance now confirms you and your clients can furlough an employee who is a military reservist returning to work following a period of mobilisation ending after 10 June – even if they haven’t been furloughed before. Search for 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌.UK to find out more.

Paying employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions

A condition of the CJRS grant is that you pay the related PAYE tax, NICs and pension contributions due on wages. Until 31‌‌‌ ‌July you can continue to claim these for the hours the employee is on furlough. From 1‌‌‌ ‌August employers will no longer be able to claim for NICs and pension contributions.

If you think you or your clients may struggle to pay your PAYE tax and/or NICs from August, please contact us as soon as possible, before we start action to recover the unpaid debt. We may be able to give you time to pay.

Protect yourself and your clients from scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search 'scams' on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.”

END OF HMRC MESSAGE