Job retention scheme – this week’s update

Nov 30, 2020

This week’s update features the 30 November deadline for claims under the scheme up to 31 October 2020, a clarification from HMRC on eligibility for the extended scheme, monthly scheme claim deadlines and record keeping, some more information on publishing employer details and updated scheme guidance.

30 November deadline is today

The deadline for submitting claims under the job retention scheme for periods that ended on or before 31 October 2020 is today Monday 30 November 2020. Underclaims for periods up to and including 31 October 2020 must also be corrected by the same date.

Readers are reminded that a different time limits applies where an employer needs to correct an overclaim. This must be done within 90 days of Royal Assent to Finance Act 2020 (22 July 2020) or 90 days of receipt of the grant, whichever is the later.

Failure to notify HMRC of an overpaid grant may result in the imposition of interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess grant. Amounts still due to HMRC will then be recovered through a special income tax charge on the employer. In order to act for your client in scenarios where HMRC conduct a check on their entitlement to claim CJRS, agents must be appointed for income tax purposes as recovery is made via an income tax charge.

Guidance on how to pay all or some of your grant back if you’ve overclaimed, or if you do not need the grant and want to make a voluntary repayment is also available.

Job retention scheme eligibility clarification

Readers will be aware that the CJRS has been extended to 31 ‌March 2021 for all parts of the UK. From 1 November, the Government will pay 80 per cent of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers and their employees do not need to have benefited from the scheme before to claim for periods from 1 November.

HMRC has also confirmed to us that the updated guidance for the scheme which now refers to “affected” instead of “adversely affected” is to be taken as having the same meaning as before.

HMRC’s response to us confirms there is no difference in meaning between the guidance and the Treasury Direction which still refers to “adversely affected” – “being affected in a way that means that an employer cannot maintain their workforce because their operations have been affected by coronavirus is the same as being adversely affected”.

For claim periods from 1 December 2020, employers cannot claim CJRS grants for any days that their employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement or resignation. Employers can check if they’re eligible, and work out how much they can claim using the CJRS calculator and examples on GOV.UK.

Monthly claim deadlines and record keeping

  • Submit any claims for November 2020, no later than 14‌‌‌ ‌December 2020. You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll as long as your claim is submitted by the deadline;

There are now monthly deadlines for claims. Claims for periods starting on or after 1 November must be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to unless this falls on a weekend in which case the deadline is the next weekday.

  • Keep any records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them. You can view, print or download copies of your previously submitted claims by logging onto your CJRS service on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK.

Publishing employers’ information

HMRC will publish the names, an indication of the value of claims and Company Registration Numbers of employers who make CJRS claims for periods from December 2020 onwards. Employees will also be able to check if their employer has made a CJRS claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account.

HMRC will not publish details of employers claiming through the scheme if you can show that publicising these would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to certain individuals, or any individual living with them. Those individuals include:

  • employers that are individuals - a relevant individual can be the employer themselves, or any employee of the employer;
  • employers that are companies - a relevant individual can be a director, officer or employee of that company;
  • employers that are partnerships - a relevant individual can be a partner, officer or employee of that partnership;
  • employers that are limited liability partnerships - a relevant individual can be a member or employee of that limited liability partnership; and
  • trustees of a trust - a relevant individual can be a settlor, trustee or beneficiary of the trust.

If you are an employer and think that a serious risk of violence or intimidation will come from publicising your name, company registration number and amount of claim, you will need to tell HMRC and provide evidence to support this which could include:

  • a police incident number if you’ve been threatened or attacked;
  • documentary evidence of a threat or attack, such as photos or recordings;
  • evidence of possible disruption or targeting.

Further details on how to request that HMRC do not publish details will be available soon which will aim to provide employers with enough time to do so before the first publication date.

Updated guidance

The guidance for the scheme has also been updated since last week as follows and we are advised that further updates will be published tomorrow 1 December:-

Page title

Change

Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

New paragraphs to fix error found for those without a full pay period.

Calculation steps amendment to make clearer for those with variable pay the period and cover off the annually paid point.

Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

New paragraphs to fix error found for those without a full pay period.

Examples of how to calculate your employees' wages

Examples to fix error found in calculations for those without a full pay period.