Furlough / Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Additional clarification issued 10th November 2020

The Government issued further guidance in relation to the Furlough / Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 10th November 2020. The key points are listed below and links to full details on the government’s website are at the bottom of this message.

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until 31 March 2021. 
  • From 1 November 2020 you can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
  • You can claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as you have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.
  • You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim for periods from 1 November 2020.
  • You must deduct and pay to HMRC, income tax and employee National Insurance contributions on the full amount that you pay the employee, including any scheme grant.
  • You must also pay to HMRC the employer National Insurance contributions on the full amount that you pay the employee, including any scheme grant.
  • You must report these payments via a Full Payment Submission (FPS) to HMRC on or before the pay date.
  • Your employee will also still pay pension contributions (both employer and automatic contributions from the employee), unless the employee has opted out or stopped saving into their pension.
  • You can:
    • fully furlough employees – they cannot undertake any work for you while furloughed full time
    • flexibly furlough employees – they can work for any amount of time, and any work pattern but they cannot do any work for you during hours that you record them as being on furlough
  • Although flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time, unless otherwise specified the period that you claim for must be for a minimum claim period of seven calendar days. 
  • Employees cannot undertake any work for you during the time that you record them as being on furlough.
  • You can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period, however grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.
  • The government is reviewing whether employers should be eligible to claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, with further guidance published in late November.
  • To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed / flexibly furloughed. 
  • The government will review the scheme in January 2021.

Full details can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#history