Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – what you need to do now
The UK Government has reviewed the terms of the scheme and announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain at the current level of 80% of usual wages for the hours not worked and will be extended until the end of April 2021.
In line with the government's CJRS extension, the HMRC has issued new guidance for employers.
Below are the tax authority's steps:
What employers need to do now
- If they haven’t submitted their claim for November but still need to, they must check if they have a reasonable excuse – if their reason means they can claim late, they should do so as soon as they’re able to.
- Check they have not made any errors on their November claims, by looking at the eligibility criteria and calculating how much they can claim on GOV.UK.
- Submit any claims for December no later than 14 January.
- Keep any records that support the amount of CJRS grants they claim, in case HMRC needs to check them.
What if employers claimed too much in error?
If employers have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, they must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
- 90 days from receiving the CJRS money they’re not entitled to
- 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that they were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.
If employers do not do this, they may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. More information on interest can be found on GOV.UK.
Employers can repay as part of their next online claim without needing to call the HMRC. If they claimed too much but do not plan to submit further claims, they can let the tax authority know and make a repayment online through the card payment service or by bank transfer on GOV.UK.
What if employers haven’t claimed enough?
If employers made a mistake in their claim that means they received too little money, they’ll need to amend it by Tuesday 29 December.
Can employers use CJRS grants to pay for holiday leave?
If employers have furloughed employees because of the effect of coronavirus on their business, they can claim under the CJRS for periods of paid leave their employees take while on furlough, including for bank holidays such as Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
If their employee is flexibly furloughed, they can count any time taken as holiday as furloughed hours rather than working hours. This means they can claim 80% of their usual wages for these hours. Employers should not place employees on furlough just because they are going to be on paid leave.
If a furloughed employee takes holiday, employers should top up their pay to their normal rate in line with the Working Time Regulations. More information is available on GOV.UK.
Can employers include a Christmas bonus in their calculation for the grant?
Employers can claim for regular payments that they are contractually obliged to pay their employees, including compulsory commission, fees and overtime. However, they cannot claim for discretionary commission, non-contractual bonuses (including tips) and non-cash payments. More information is available on GOV.UK.