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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – July 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – July 2021

30 June 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims now open for June

CJRS claims for periods in June can be submitted now, and must be made by Wednesday 14 July.

You can claim 80% of your furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Check if you and your employees are eligible and work out how much you can claim using the CJRS calculator and examples, by clicking here.

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 later.

Conditions of claiming CJRS grants

You must pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC. This is a condition of applying for the grant, so not doing so will mean you’ll need to repay the whole of the CJRS grant and you may not be able to claim for future CJRS grants.

If you are having difficulties paying any of your tax liabilities to HMRC, they will work with you to explore affordable payment options – for example, through a payment plan where you can pay in instalments. Click here to find out more.

Flexibly furloughing employees

If your business continues to be affected by coronavirus, you don’t need to place all your employees on full furlough. You can also use the CJRS flexibly if you bring your employees back to work for some of their usual hours. You can claim a portion of your employees’ usual wage costs, but only for the hours spent on furlough.

You must not claim under the CJRS for any hours that your employees work. HMRC are carrying out compliance checks to identify error and fraud in claims.

What you need to do now

1. If you haven’t submitted your claim for May but believe that you have a reasonable excuse for missing the 14 June deadline, check if you can make a late claim by clicking here.

2. Submit any claims for June no later than Wednesday 14 July.

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

4. Make sure you’re paying employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC and contact them if you’re struggling to pay.

Changes to the CJRS from July

In July, the UK Government will pay 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.

You will need to pay the 10% difference in July (up to £312.50), and 20% in August and September (up to £625), so that you 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.

You can still choose to top up your employees’ wages above the 80% level or cap for each month if you wish, at your own expense.

To help you plan ahead for all future claim periods, the CJRS calculator is available to help you work out how much you can claim for employees up to the end of September. To find this and everything you need to know about the CJRS, search ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.

Updated CJRS templates to make claiming for multiple employees easier

HMRC have updated their claims process for employers who have 16 or more employees, making it easier to add their details. Different templates are available if you are claiming for between 16-99 employees, or for 100 or more employees.

If you were already using their previous template to claim for 100 employees or more, you can carry on using it. Third-party software incorporating this will still work.

You must enter all the information in the right format before uploading the completed template so that your claim is processed quickly and successfully.

HMRC have also updated the process to help you get your claim right first time and provide all the information needed so that your claims aren’t delayed or stopped. For example, if you can’t provide a National Insurance number for an employee, you can now select a reason for this.

If you make a mistake, the template will highlight it to help you put it right before you submit your claim. Please remember not to change the format of the template before you submit it, as that won’t be accepted by HMRC’s system.

You can find everything you need to help you make a claim, including the updated templates, by clicking here.

HMRC scams

HMRC are aware of recent increases in scam phone calls, emails and texts. If someone contacts you or your employees claiming to be from HMRC saying that you owe tax and face arrest, are due a tax refund, that your National Insurance number has been compromised or asking you to transfer money or give bank or other personal details, it might be a scam.

Use HMRC’s scams checklist to find out how to report tax scams. You can also access the National Cyber Security Centre’s new guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cybercrime by visiting the Cyber Aware website.

Where can I get further support?

HMRC’s webinars offer information on the CJRS and other government support, and how they apply to you. Click here to book online, or to view updated guidance. If you’re booked on a webinar but can no longer attend, please cancel your place to allow space for others to register.

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

To find out what other financial support may be available for you and your business as part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs, click here.

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.