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Covid-19 HR advice: Job Retention Scheme

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Government has confirmed that Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended until 31 March 2021.

Government will publish full guidance on 10 November 2020 when we will update these FAQs.

Read our Job Retention Scheme FAQs below. You can read other Covid-19 HR advice FAQs here.

Between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 Government will fund 80% of usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum (where all hours are not worked) of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 reduces proportional to the hours not worked, so the cap would be £1,250 per month where an employee was furloughed for half of the week.

The policy paper states that where people are shielding in accordance with public health guidance, or need to stay at home with people who are shielding, they can be furloughed. We await further invformation as the published shielding guidance suggests only 'clinically extremely vulnerable' should not work and that people who they live with can still go to work. See the shielding guidance.

Provided they were on payroll on 23 September 2020, and the employer has made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, yes.

Employers must pay for (a) hours worked (b) employers NI and pension contributions on all pay. They can choose whether or not to ‘top-up’ the 80% for hours not worked (for example, if you wish to maintain full pay for someone on full or partial furlough).

No, an employee can be furloughed for the first time.

This is a bit of a headache! People previously furloughed must have their reference pay and usual hours calculated in the same manner as previous, i.e. under the original CJRS. New claims will have a new calculation for reference pay and usual hours.

Only take part in training, volunteer for a different organization or work for another employer. They cannot work or provide a service to their employer.

No, you could furlough some but not all. You can also partially furlough an individual.

Remember that if an employee was previously furloughed, the old calculation method must be used. If the person in first furloughed on or after 1 November 2020, then the new calculations apply. The new calculations are as follows. Pay is calculated for people on a fixed salary as 80% of the wages payable in the last pay period which fell on or before 30 October 2020. Pay is calculated for people whose pay varies as 80% average between the later of their start date or 6 April 2020 and the day before their furlough under the extended scheme begin. The 80% cap is calculated in the same manner as under the previous CJRS.

Remember that if an employee was previously furloughed, the old calculation method must be used. If the person in first furloughed on or after 1 November 2020, then the new calculations apply. The new calculations are as follows. If the employee has fixed hours and their pay does not vary according to hours worked (e.g. a salaried employee) hours are taken from the last pay period which fall on or before 30 October 2020. If an employee works variable hours, use the average hours between 6 April 2020 and the day before their furlough under the extended scheme begins.

Yes, but you must reach the furlough agreement with your employee on or before 13 November 2020.

Claims can be made from 11 November 2020. As previously, there’s a seven consecutive calendar day minimum claim period. Claim periods must start and end within the same calendar month. You can claim in advance of an imminent payroll run or in arrears. There’s a time limit which is 14 day after the calendar month you are claiming for. Further details will be provided once the full guidance is published.

Read our other Covid-19 HR FAQs