Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Changes

Jul, 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has recently been changed to provide a more flexible approach for businesses as they transition employees back to work as well as provide a further incentive to businesses to retain staff after the scheme officially closes on 30th October.

Our team have pulled together some key information to provide guidance around the changes and as always they are available to discuss your specific position in more detail, should you require it.

Flexible Furlough

From 1st July 2020 employers will have greater flexibility on how they use CJRS, using it to subsidise part of their employee salaries whilst they come back to work on a part-time basis.  This will enable employees to start to bring employees back to work without the burden of having to find work for them to do or fund a return to their normal working patterns.

Originally the CJRS was only for employees who were not working; and while on furlough, an employee could not carry out any work for, or on behalf of the company. However, from 1st July employers can bring furloughed workers back to work on a flexible basis while still being able to claim under the CJRS for hours not worked.

This change does however, only apply to those employers who have made claims under the scheme prior to 1st July and for those of their employees who have been furloughed at any point prior to that date.

Important Dates

The following are some key dates to remember in relation to the CJRS:

  • Submit CJRS claims for periods ending on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June 2020 by 31‌‌‌ July 2020. This is the last date that these claims can be made. A company needs to have made a claim at any point on, or before 31‌‌‌ ‌July to be able to make a claim for future months.
  • From 1‌‌‌ August 2020 the scheme will no longer fund employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions for furloughed employees. These payments will have to be made by the business.
  • From 1‌‌‌ September 2020 businesses will have to start contributing to the wages of furloughed employees. Grants will be for 70% of usual wages in September and 60% in October, but furloughed employees will continue to be entitled to receive at least 80% of their usual wages. Employers will have to make up the difference.

It’s important that accurate data is provided to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) so that they can process claims quickly. HMRC are also actively reviewing claims to identify incorrect or fraudulent claims as highlighted in recent press coverage. The likelihood is that more cases will be highlighted over the months to come.

There are a number of free webinars offering further support on changes to the scheme and how they impact businesses available on the Government website. To book online. Click here.

Job Retention Bonus

A Job Retention Bonus scheme is also being introduced. The aim of this scheme is to prevent employers from making staff redundant when the CRJS finishes at the end of October.

The scheme makes a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers who have claimed under CJRS, for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until at least 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021. More information about this scheme is to be released on 31‌‌‌ ‌July.

Software Changes for Qtac Customers

Our latest software update includes the CJRS2 Preparation Tool to enable you to manage the changes to CJRS scheme.   Please visit the relevant software update page for your package – Qtac 2020/21 or Mamut 2020/21.

In addition, the CJRS2 Preparation Tool includes the following changes:

  • A new form has been added to allow you to easily record a new Furlough Period.
  • Reference Pay will now be required for all Furlough Periods. The CJRS Preparation Tool will populate this in advance, but you can edit it at any time.
  • The employee’s Pay Rate will no longer hold Furlough Pay. The CJRS Preparation Tool will reset any Pay Rate back to its original value.
  • Normal Working Hours is now required in order to calculate Furlough Pay when there are part-time hours.

We have provided a new option to allow Qtac to automatically calculate the Furlough Pay.

Further Help

The Qtac knowledge base contains helpful guides and information to guide you through furloughing workers and submitting Job Retention Scheme claims. You will also find in-depth information on CJRS2 items such as Normal Hours Worked and Reference Pay – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme knowledge base.

HMRC has also published a series of pages to assist employers with CJRS2:

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme