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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – October 2021

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) update – October 2021

30 September 2021

Submit your CJRS claims for September

Final CJRS claims for September can now be submitted and must be made by Thursday 14 October.

You can claim 60% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £1,875 per month per employee. You’ll need to contribute 20% from your own funds so that your furloughed employees continue to be paid at least 80% of their usual wages in total, for the hours they do not work (up to a cap of £2,500 a month).

What you need to do now

  • Work out how much you can claim, and the contribution you’ll need to make to reach 80% of usual wages, by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK
  • Submit any claims for September, no later than Thursday 14 October
  • Keep records supporting the grants you claim, in case HMRC need to check them
  • Make sure you continue paying CJRS-related employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, and contact them if you’re struggling to pay

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.

Ending the scheme

Now that the scheme has closed, you must decide to either:

  • Bring your employees back to work on their agreed terms and conditions

When employers are making decisions about how and when to end furlough arrangements, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.

Preparing for the end of the CJRS – frequently asked questions

You can find everything you need to know about the CJRS on GOV.UK, but here are some answers to HMRC’s most frequently asked questions:

What should I do when the scheme closes?

You’ll need to:

  • Bring your employees back to work on their agreed terms and conditions
  • Agree any changes to their terms and conditions with them
  • Consider ending their employment

When making decisions about how and when to end furlough arrangements, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way. For more information search ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.

Can I claim CJRS for employees on notice periods?

You cannot claim CJRS grants for any days your employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement, resignation or redundancy.

What support is available for my employees if I’m unable to bring them back to work?

There’s UK Government support available for your employees through the JobHelp website, offering a range of support, training and advice, to help people find their next opportunity. This includes the Kickstart scheme and other Plan for Jobs support measures, along with advice on learning new skills and finding who’s recruiting. Search GOV.UK for ‘Plan for Jobs programmes’ for more information.

Normal redundancy rules and protections apply to furloughed employees – search ‘redundancy rules’ on GOV.UK for more information.

What support is available to help my business now that the CJRS has closed?

If you’re looking to grow your business, the UK Government Help to Grow scheme offers management and digital programmes to help you learn new skills and reach more customers. To register your interest, search ‘Help to Grow’ on GOV.UK.

If you’re considering taking on new employees, there’s a range of UK Government support available to help your business, including placements, apprenticeships and training opportunities. Search ‘Plan for Jobs programmes for employers’ on GOV.UK to find out how your business could benefit.

What if I’ve claimed too much in error?

If you’ve claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid the overclaimed amount, you can repay as part of your next online claim without needing to call HMRC. If you claimed too much but don’t plan to submit further claims, you can let HMRC know and make a repayment online through their card payment service or by bank transfer – go to ‘pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back’ on GOV.UK.

You must tell HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date below applies:

  • 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
  • 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant

If you don’t, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. Search ‘interest rates for late and early payments’ on GOV.UK.

What if I haven’t claimed enough?

If you made a mistake in your claim that means you received too little money, you’ll need to amend your claim within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to. The deadline to amend claims for September is Thursday 28 October. To find out how, search ‘get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.

HMRC scams

HMRC are urging customers to be careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. They are continuing to see high numbers of fraudsters calling, emailing or texting customers claiming to be from HMRC.

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.

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.