IGA News

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) Update – August 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) Update – August 2020

31 July 2020

From 1 August 2020, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS) will no longer fund employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions for furloughed employees. You will have to make these payments from your own resources.

From 1 September 2020 you will have to start contributing to the wages of your furloughed employees. Grants will be for 70% of usual wages in September and 60% in October, but furloughed employees will continue to be entitled to receive at least 80% of their usual wages. You will have to make up the difference from your own resources. Click here to find out more information on how the amount of grant available through CJRC is changing.

Click here to use HMRC’s online calculator to work out your next claim.

Incorrect claims and penalties

If you have claimed too much for a CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

  • 90 days of receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
  • 90 days of when circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
  • 20 October 2020 if you received CJRS money you’re not entitled to, or if your circumstances changed, on or before 20 July.

If you do not do this, you may have to pay a penalty. HMRC may withhold or recover grants if they are claimed based on dishonest or inaccurate information. You can find out more about how much the penalties are, how to pay them and how to appeal against them by clicking here.

If you have made an incorrect claim that meant you claimed too much, you can let HMRC know as part of your next online claim without needing to call. The system will prompt you to add details if you have received too much.

If you have made an error and do not plan to submit further claims, or you have claimed less than you were entitled to, you can contact HMRC here. You can also now delete a claim within 72 hours of submitting it. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect.

HMRC will be contacting select employers to check they are claiming the correct amount and haven’t made any mistakes.

More information about the Job Retention Bonus

New details have been released on the Job Retention Bonus. This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers for each furloughed employee who remains employed until 31 January 2021.

Employers will be able to claim for employees who:

  • Were furloughed and had a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim submitted for them that meets all relevant eligibility criteria for the scheme
  • Have been continuously employed by the relevant employer from the time of the employer’s most recent claim for that employee until at least 31 January 2021
  • Have been paid an average of at least £520 a month between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 (a total of at least £1,560 across the 3 months). The employee does not have to be paid £520 in each month, but must have received some earnings in each of the three calendar months that have been paid and reported to HMRC via RTI;
  • Have up-to-date RTI records for the period to the end of January
  • Are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period, that started before 1 February 2021, for the employer making a claim

Under the terms:

  • Employers will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who has previously been furloughed under Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – if they remain continuously employed to the end of January 2021
  • To ensure the jobs are meaningful well-paid, employees must earn at least £520 (the National Insurance lower earnings limit) a month on average between the beginning of November and the end of January
  • Those who were furloughed and had a claim submitted for them after the 10 June (when the CJRS closed to new entrants), because they were returning from paternal leave or time serving as a military reservist will also be eligible for the bonus as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria
  • Employers will also be eligible for employee transfers protected under TUPE legislation, provided they have been continuously employed and meet the other eligibility criteria and the new employer has also submitted a CJRS claim for that employee

What to do now if you intend to claim the Job Retention Bonus

In order to claim the bonus, you should ensure that your employee records are up-to-date, including accurately reporting employee’s details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system. You should also make sure all Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims have been accurately submitted and any necessary amendments have been notified to HMRC.

Click here to read all the new details. Full guidance on the scheme will be published in September.

Webinars

HMRC are holding live webinars offering more support on changes to the scheme, so their phone lines can remain open for those who need it most. Click here to register for an upcoming webinar.

National Minimum Wage Reminder

If you are unfurloughing staff, you must pay staff the new National Minimum Wage Rate that came into force on 1 April 2020. Click here for more information on the new rates.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams which mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Click here for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contacts.

You can forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599. Please also let the IGA know if you have been targeted by a scam so we can make other members aware.

If you need further assistance with any aspect of furlough, the IGA Member Helpline team is here to help. Call the direct member helpline or 0845 305 4230, or email enquiries@rmif.co.uk.