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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – 2021 Update

coronavirus budget chancellor

8th March, 2021

As part of the 2021 Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be further extended to the end of September 2021.

The Chancellor has now confirmed that the furlough scheme will be extended until 30 September 2021, with employer contributions increasing from July 2021.

Changes to Contributions

Up until 30 June 2021, the scheme will continue with its current rules with the Government paying 80% of workers’ salaries up to the value of £2,500, as has been the case since the scheme kicked off in March 2020.

From 1 July 2021, this contribution will change and the Government grant will be reduced. Employers will be required to make a 10% contribution towards this cost throughout July. From 1 August 2021, this contribution will be increased to 20% until the scheme is due to end on 30 September 2021. Although the contributions from both the Government and the employer will change, the employee will still receive 80% of their salary (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month) for hours not worked.

The table below sets out the updated levels of Government and employer contributions per month, and the relevant caps that they are subject to:

  Up to and Including June July August September
Government Contribution 80% up to £2,500 70% up to £2,187.50 60% up to £1,875 60% up to £1,875
Employer Contribution N/A 10% up to £312.50 20% up to £625 20% up to £625

 

Which Employees Can Use The CJRS Scheme?

We have previously drafted an article detailing who can use the scheme, which you can find here, but we have set out the main changes to the rules below.

For any period starting on or before 30 April 2021, the rules have not changed. However, for any period starting on or after 1 May 2021, an employer can claim for an employee who was employed on 2 March 2021, so long as they have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. It is important for employers to note that they do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 2 March 2021 to claim for periods starting on or after 1 May 2021.

Fixed Term Employees

For periods starting on or before 30 April 2021, we have detailed the rules in our November 2020 article which can be found here. For periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, an employer can place an employee on furlough as long as they were employed on 2 March 2021, but only if the employer has made an RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021.

Employee transfers under TUPE and on a change in ownership

As above, if an employer is claiming for a period between 1 November 2020 and 30 April 2021 and they employ someone who was transferred from another business, they can claim under the normal rules which we have detailed in our article here.

However, the updated rules state that an employer can claim for employees transferred on or after 1 January 2021, on the condition that those employees are or were:

  • employed by the old employer on or before 2 March 2021;
  • transferred from their old employer to their new employer on or after 1 January 2021; and
  • included on an RTI submission to HMRC by their old employer, between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021.

The Gov website has set out detailed criteria for those employees that qualify for use of the scheme, and this can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Claiming for Employee Wages

If an employer wants to make a claim for wages for those employees who have been placed on furlough or flexible furlough, they can do this through the Gov website at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

To claim for days in any particular month, claims must be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you are claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend or a bank holiday, then claims should be submitted on the next working day.

The table below details the deadline for making a claim for wages in any given month:

To claim for furlough days in: The claim must be submitted by:
February 2021 15 March 2021
March 2021 14 April 2021
April 2021 14 May 2021
May 2021 14 June 2021
June 2021 14 July 2021
July 2021 16 August 2021
August 2021 14 September 2021
September 2021 14 October 2021

 

Further details relating to the extended CJRS and the eligibility criteria are available on the government website on the link set out in this article. If you require further information about the CJRS or any other Employment Law related matter please contact a member of our Employment Team.

Debbie Coyne

Employment

Senior Associate
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01244 405 537 / 07870 365 050

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