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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – May 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – May 2021

30 April 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims now open for April

You can now submit your CJRS claims for periods in April. These must be made by Friday 14 May.

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.

Check if you and your employees are eligible and work out how much you can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples, by clicking here.

What you need to do now

  1. If you haven’t submitted your claim for March but believe that you have a reasonable excuse for missing the 14 April deadline, check if you can make a late claim by clicking here
  2. Submit any claims for April no later than Friday 14 May
  3. Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grants you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them

You must pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC. If you don’t do that, you’ll need to repay the whole of the CJRS grant to HMRC.

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

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 pay the difference from July, 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.

CJRS eligibility from May

If you have employees who have previously been ineligible for the CJRS, as they were not on your payroll on 30 October 2020, they may be eligible for periods from 1 May 2021 onwards.

From May 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.

You and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. Click here for more information on eligibility.

Changes to CJRS claims for variable pay from May

For periods from 1 May, when calculating the average wages for employees who are not on a fixed salary, you should no longer includes period of:

  • Statutory Sick Pay related leave
  • Family related statutory leave
  • Reduced rate paid leave following a period of Statutory Sick Pay or family related leave

However, if your employee was on one of these types of leave for the entire period used to calculate their average wages, then you should continue to include the days and wages related to that date.

Click here for more information on variable pay calculations.

Can I still use the CJRS if I’m starting to re-open my business?

You can continue to use the CJRS if your business is affected by coronavirus. You don’t need to place all your employees on furlough. You can also use the CJRS flexibly to bring your employees back to work for some of their usual hours. You can claim for a portion of the usual wage costs for the hours spent on furlough.

Can I claim a CJRS grant to pay for holiday leave?

If you have furloughed employees because of the effects of coronavirus on your business, you can claim under the CJRS for periods of paid leave they take while on furlough, including for bank holidays. You should not place employees on furlough just because they are going to be on leave.

If your employee is furloughed for only some of their hours, you can count time taken as holiday as furloughed hours, rather than working hours. This means you can currently claim for 80% of your employee’s usual wages when they’re on leave.

In line with the Working Time Regulations, if a furloughed employee takes holiday you should make sure you are calculating the correct holiday pay, and not simply continuing to pay the 80% you receive through the CJRS. You may need to top up your employees’ pay to 100% of their normal hourly rate or salary. Click here for more information on claiming for your employees’ wages, and click here for information about holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus.

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.