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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – April 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – April 2021

31 March 2021

As announced in the 2021 Spring Budget, the CJRS has been extended until the end of September 2021.

For periods from 1 May 2021 onwards, you will be able to claim for eligible employees who were on your PAYE payroll on 2 March 2021. This means you must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying HMRC of earnings for that employee.

The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, up to the end of June 2021.

For periods in July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.

You will need to continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. This means, for periods between July and September, you will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grants yourself. You can also top up wages above the 80% if you wish, but you are not required to do so.

You must continue to pay Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions on subsidised furlough pay from your own funds.

Entering personal details

When submitting claims, it’s really important to take care when entering your personal details so they’re accurate. To ensure your claim is processed and your grant is paid correctly, please take extra care to check that the bank account details you enter are correct. If you enter an incorrect sort code you will now be alerted to this in the online claims service, and your claim won’t go through.

You can now make March CJRS claims

You can now submit your claims for periods in March. These must be made by Wednesday 14 April.

You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your employees will work so you don’t have to amend your claim at a later date.

You and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim. You can check if you’re eligible and work out how much you can claim using the CJRS calculator and examples here.

What you need to do now

1. If you haven’t submitted your claim for February but believe that you have a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline, check if you can apply to make a late claim by clicking here.

2. Submit any claims for February no later than Wednesday 14 April.

3. Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grants you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them.

Making your claim online

To make a CJRS claim, you will need to be registered and have the required access, password or activation code for HMRC online services. Click here for more information.

February claims

If you didn’t submit your January furlough claim by the deadline of 15 March, HMRC may still accept it if you have a reasonable excuse for not claiming by the deadline, such as you were self-isolating or had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from completing it.

If your reason means you can claim late, please do so as soon as you’re able to. Click here for more information on reasonable excuses.

Where can I get further support?

HMRC offer live webinars which now offer more support on changes to CJRS, and how they affect you. Click here to book online, or to view updated guidance.

There’s also a list of monthly claims deadlines and a helpful step-by-step guide on GOV.UK, summarising the latest information on CJRS and the steps you need to take to make a claim, which can be found here.

The quickest way to find the support you need is on GOV.UK, which will leave HMRC’s phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.

If you need further assistance with any aspect of furlough, the IGA Member Helpline team is here to help. Call us on 01788 225 908, or email enquiries@rmif.co.uk.