Job retention scheme – this week’s update, 14 December 2020

Dec 14, 2020

11.59pm today Monday 14 December 2020 is the monthly claim deadline for claims under the CJRS from 1 November 2020. Claims for November 2020 will not be accepted after this date. We understand HMRC does plan on sending reminder emails to employers in advance of the monthly claim deadlines. The deadline to amend claims for employees furloughed in November 2020 where an underclaim arose is Tuesday‌‌ ‌29‌‌ ‌December 2020.

As we approach the Christmas period, HMRC is aware that you and your clients’ payroll dates may differ this month. Don’t forget you can claim before, during or after you process your payroll as long as your claim is submitted by the deadline.

HMRC has also made two new documents available to us:

Can I use CJRS to pay for holiday leave?

Employees can only be placed on furlough if an employer cannot maintain their workforce because their business has been affected by coronavirus, and not just because they are on paid leave. This also applies during any peak holiday periods in late December and early January.

If a furloughed employee takes holiday, their employer should pay them their normal rate of pay in line with the Working Time Regulations.

What about notice periods?

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.

Can employers re-employ someone and furlough them?

If employees were on an employers’ payroll on 23 September 2020 (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23 September 2020) and were made redundant or stopped working for them afterwards, they can qualify for the scheme if they re-employ them and then place them on furlough.

What if I’ve claimed too much in error?

If you or your client has claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, you must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

  • 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to; or
  • 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.

Failure to do so may result in interest and a penalty as well as repayment of the excess CJRS grant.

HMRC can be advised of overclaims via the next CJRS online claim. If you’ve claimed too much but do not plan to submit further claims, you can let HMRC know and make a repayment online through their card payment service or by bank transfer.

What if I haven’t claimed enough?

If a mistake has been made in a claim that means you received too little, you must amend this within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to – unless this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, in which case the deadline is the next weekday. The deadline to amend claims for employees furloughed in November 2020 is therefore Tuesday‌‌ ‌29‌‌ ‌December 2020.