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CJRS, Furlough and Part-time Working

by The Payroll Manager on 06/09/20

We hope you are remaining fit and healthy.

The government has announced that from 1st July 2020 it will be possible for employees to return to work on a part-time basis, and to continue to receive furlough payments of 80% of normal salary for the hours not worked.  This can still be topped up to 100% by the employer but the additional 20% cannot be reclaimed.

This does open up the opportunity, in some cases, for employers to restart their businesses if it is safe to do so.

One vital date to remember is 10th June 2020 because this is the last time that somebody can be furloughed if they have never been furloughed before.

In the government's own words:

Dear employer,

As part of changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), I have outlined below important dates that may impact you in the coming weeks.

Important dates what you need to know now

  • The scheme will close to anyone who has not been furloughed for 3 weeks by 30 June, so you will only be able to claim for employees after that if they have been furloughed for a full three-week period at any time before the end of June.
  • So, if you intend to furlough an employee who has not been furloughed before, you will need to agree that with them and start their period of furlough on or before 10 June. This is the last day on which someone who has never been furloughed before can start a period of furlough and qualify for the scheme. This ensures the minimum three-week period is complete by 30 June.
  • You will then have until 31 July to make a claim for any periods of furlough up until 30 June. This applies to both employees furloughed for the first time and those you have previously furloughed and claimed for.

The future of the scheme

  • The rules of the scheme are changing from 1 July.
  • On 12 June, we will publish full guidance on all the scheme changes on GOV.UK. Search for 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' to find this. Webinars offering more support on the changes will also be available to book online from 12 June. Please do not call us for more information, as everything you need to know about the scheme changes will be published online on GOV.UK.
  • From 1 July, you will have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time, you can decide the hours and shift patterns they work to suit the needs of your business. You will pay their wages for the time they are in work and can apply for a scheme grant to cover any of their normal hours they are still furloughed for.
  • Also, for periods starting on or after the 1 July, the maximum number of employees you can claim for in any period cannot be higher than the maximum number you have claimed for in a previous period. For example, if your highest single claim for periods up to 30 June was for 100 people, you can not claim for more than this number in later periods.
  • From 1 August, you will need to contribute towards the wage costs of your furloughed employees until the scheme ends on 31 October.

Making changes to your claims if you have over-claimed

If you have made an error in a CJRS claim that means you received too much money, you must pay this back to HMRC.

We have updated the application system so you can tell us if you have over-claimed in a previous claim. When you apply you will be asked if you need to reduce the amount to take account of a previous error. Your new claim amount will be reduced to reflect this. You should then keep a record of this adjustment for six years.

If you have made an error in a CJRS claim and do not plan to submit further claims, we are working on a process that will allow you to let us know about your error and pay back any amounts that you have over-claimed. We will update guidance and keep you informed when this is available.

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