Job Retention Scheme is back – what’s new?
The government’s original Job Retention Scheme was due to end on 31 October and be replaced by the Job Support Scheme, with two versions of support dependent on whether you are open or closed due to lock down restrictions.
Now that the ‘second wave’ is officially nationwide, the Chancellor has brought back the Job Retention Scheme (version 2.0) which is similar to the original scheme. Employees can be placed on furlough and employers reclaim 80% of gross pay from HMRC.
Main features of the Job Retention Scheme from 1 November 2020:
- The scheme will run until 31 March 2021
- The last day employers can submit or change claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020 will be 30 November 2020
- Employers must pay employers NIC and pension costs, these are not covered by the new JRS
- 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, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee
- Employers can furlough employees for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked (i.e. flexible furlough is possible)
- For claim periods starting on or after 1 November 2020, you’ll be able to claim from 11 November 2020
- When employers are making decisions in relation to the process, including deciding who to offer furlough to, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way
- 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
- Employers must keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (i.e. not working)
- During hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, you cannot ask them to do any work for you (other than for training purposes)
- Employee rights to SSP, parental leave, maternity leave and redundancy continue whilst on furlough leave
- Holiday entitlements accrue whilst on furlough
- Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough. If an employee is flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours
New Time Limit for Claims
Claims from 1 November 2020 must be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend then claims should be submitted on the next working day
If you have already decided which employees are to be furloughed for November, you can claim now rather than waiting until the end of the month. This is good practice in terms of cash flow management.
Make your claim here – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme