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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update

3rd March 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update
This article was last updated on 3 March at 11:00.

The Chancellor’s headline announcement from today’s Budget regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is that it will be extended until September 2021.

Whilst we are awaiting the publication of the updated Treasury Direction, the following details concerning how the CJRS will be applied have been published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC):

  • The CJRS has been extended until September 2021. As part of the extension, employees will continue to receive 80% of their salary capped up to £2,500 from their employers for hours not worked.
  • The Government will pay up to 80% from now to 30 June 2021 towards an employee’s salary capped up to £2,500.
  • From 1 July 2021, employers will be required to contribute 10% towards hours not worked by employees, so the Government will pay 70% of an employee’s salary capped up to £2,187.50.
  • The employer’s contribution will then be increased to 20% from 1 August 2021 for hours not worked by employees. The Government will pay 60% of an employee’s salary capped up to £1,875.
  • The employer will remain responsible for paying National Insurance and pension contributions.

Who is eligible?

The CJRS will be extended to September 2021 based on the same eligibility criteria as set out in the Chancellor’s last extension announcement on 17 December 2020.

Employers

  • All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE scheme can claim the grant
  • The Government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the CJRS
  • Partially public funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues are disrupted
  • All other requirements apply to employers with no restrictions on the size of the employer

Employees

  • Employees must have been registered on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020, and a Real Time Information submission notifying payment for that employee must have been made on or before 30 October 2020
  • Employees can be on any type of employment contract
  • Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with their employees
  • Employers can continue to claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working (the flexi-furlough scheme)
  • The claim under the flexi-furlough scheme will remain calculated by reference to usual contracted hours less the hours worked

Claims under the CJRS will continue to be made in arrears and through the HMRC portal, which employers will already be familiar with. Please plan ahead to ensure that claims are submitted on time.

Action to be taken where excessive claims have been made

Where an employer has claimed too much CJRS grant and it has not already repaid, the employer 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
  • 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant

Where any overpayments are not repaid, HMRC will charge interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant once the overpayment has been identified.

It is possible to offset any overpayment against the next online claim. Where the employer has claimed too much but will not submit further claims, they can correct this through the HMRC portal and repay the overstated claim directly.

What if the claim has been understated?

Where the amount claimed has been understated, the claim can be revised 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 business day. 

If you wish to discuss the CJRS and/or any other COVID-19 related initiatives please contact your usual haysmacintyre contact or email CV19@haysmacintyre.com.

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