An updated Treasury Direction under sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 concerning the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was published on 12 November 2020. The CJRS was due to come to an end on 31 October 2020 but has now been extended until 31 March 2021.
Effective 1 November 2020, employees will receive up to 80% of their salary for hours not worked. Any government contribution will be capped at £2,500 per month per employee. There will be a review date of the scheme in January 2021 which may see employers taking on an increased financial contribution from 1 February 2021, if the economic and health outlook show signs of improvement. A further Treasury Direction is expected to be published confirming any changes to the rules in early 2021.
There are a number of important changes to the way the revised scheme works that started to come into effect from 1 November 2020. This includes the following:
- From 1 December 2020, HMRC will publish information listing employers who have used the scheme. This will include indicative details of the amount of money claimed (but not the exact amount). This information must be removed by HMRC 12 months after the date it was first published. An exception may be made where publication of this information could result in serious risk of violence or intimidation.
- During November 2020, employers will be able to claim for employees who are serving a notice period. However, no CJRS claim can be made in respect of an employee that is serving notice between 1 December 2020 and 31 January 2021.
- A furlough agreement needs to be in place before the start of the relevant claim period but can be subsequently varied. There was an opportunity to backdate agreements for the period from 1 to 13 November 2020.