The government has announced the CJRS extension, it is now going to run until March 31 2021. The CJRS extension aims to support individuals and businesses who are impacted by disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) this winter.

The CJRS extension will run initially similarly to when it started in March this year. Until January 2021 employees will receive 80% of their usual salary (up to a maximum of £2500 per month) for hours not worked with employers paying NI and pension contributions. This will be reviewed in January with the potential to ask employers to contribute more after this time.

Employers do not need to have used the CJRS previously to November to use this extension and can claim whether or not their business is open. Agreements will need in place for any employees furloughed from 1 November 2020 and these records should be kept for 5 years. If you have employees that are currently furloughed and will remain so, whether fully or flexibly, you need to communicate that their period of furlough is being extended by the end of today 13 November.

Employers can claim for employees who were employed and on PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. You must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.

Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.

Similarly, an employee who was on a fixed term contract, on payroll on 23 September, and that contract expired after 23 September can be re-employed and claimed for, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met.

One difference in the CJRS extension is that from 1 December you cannot claim furlough money back from the HMRC for any employee serving their notice for any reason it appears.

We don’t know if this is an oversight or intentional but the information relating to anyone serving notice prior to 1 December refers only to being able to claim back statutory notice (one week per year of service up to 12 weeks) and is silent on the matter of contractual notice periods that may of course finish after this date.

This may be a concern for anyone who has employees currently on notice that will go on later than 1 December & anyone who may need to start the process to terminate employment after 1 December and was hoping that furlough money would assist with that notice period.  This new rule is more in keeping with how the JSS was going to work and is moving more towards the same philosophy as that of supporting only “viable” jobs it seems.

We still don’t know how notice will work in practice, but we are looking into it and hopefully will have some more details shortly, so check back here soon.

The full treasury direction has been published if you wish to read it

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