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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – March 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – March 2021

26 February 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is in place until 30 September 2021. You can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, and employees can be furloughed for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked.

Find all the information you need to make a claim on the GOV.UK website here, or read on to get the latest updates.

You can now make February claims

You can now submit your claims for periods in February. These must be made by Monday 15 March.

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 January 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 Monday 15 March.

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.

January claims

If you didn’t submit your January furlough claim by the deadline of 15 February, 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.

Frequently asked questions about the CJRS

Here are some answers to common questions employers have been asking HMRC recently.

Will information for each branch of my company be published separately?

If there is more than one PAYE scheme attached to your company, we will publish your information together under one Company Registration Number on GOV.UK.

How do I ask HMRC not to publish my claim details?

If publishing your claim details could leave someone at risk of violence or intimidation, you can request for these not to be published by completing the online application form by clicking here.

HMRC will not publish your details until they have informed you of our decision on your request. You’ll only need to make this request once, as the decision will cover all CJRS claim periods starting from 1 December 2020.

What happens if I pay back my grants?

If you choose to pay back the money you have received, your details will be removed from the list of claims when it is next published (usually in the following month).

Can my employee work elsewhere if they’re furloughed?

If your employee has more than one employer they can be furloughed for each job. Employees can be furloughed in one job (and receive that furloughed payment) but continue working for another employer and receive their normal wages.

An employee can also take part in volunteer work during hours when they are furloughed, as long as it’s for another employer or organisation which is not connected with you.

Can I claim for employees who are training?

You can claim for employees who undertake training while they are furloughed, as long as they don’t provide services to, or generate revenue for your business or a linked or associated organisation. Click here for more information.

Can I furlough an employee if they are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities or are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable?

If an employee asks to be furloughed, you can claim for them under the CJRS if:

  • They are off work or on reduced hours due to caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school or childcare closing
  • They are clinically extremely vulnerable, or in the highest risk group for severe illness from coronavirus according to the public health guidance for your area.

Click here for other circumstances where you can furlough an employee. The decision to offer furlough rests with you as an employer.

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 the IGA Direct Member Helpline, 0845 305 4230, or email enquiries@rmif.co.uk.