Christmas and Furlough claims
Employers wishing to make a claim under the governments CJRS scheme should consider whether any employees will be taking annual holiday during the festive period. ACCA have recently issued the following guidance. Care must should be taken as to whether employers need to make up the 20% shortfall for any employees taking annual leave whilst also being furloughed.
CJRS – what about the Christmas holiday?
All current claims must be submitted by Monday.
Claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are currently open for pay periods in November and December 2020 and there are hard stops for these claims.
You have until 11.59pm on Monday 14 December to submit claims for November. If a claim is wrong the deadline to amend claims for employees furloughed in November is Tuesday 29 December.
Due dates are outlined here
The following summary from HMRC can be shared with clients:
· the UK government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The terms of the scheme will be reviewed in January.
· there are now monthly deadlines for claims. Claims must be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, unless this falls on a weekend in which case the deadline is the next weekday. We'll continue to send you reminder emails before the deadline each month.
What you or your clients need to do now
1. Check if you’re eligible, and work out how much you can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples, by searching 'Job Retention Scheme' on GOV.UK.
2. Submit any claims for November, no later than 14 December.
3. Keep any records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them.
Can I use CJRS to pay for holiday leave?
· Employees can only be placed on furlough if an employer cannot maintain their workforce because their business has been affected by coronavirus, and not just because they are on paid leave. This also applies during any peak holiday periods in late December and early January. If an employee is flexibly furloughed, any time taken as holiday should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.
· If a furloughed employee takes holiday, their employer should pay them their normal rate of pay in line with the Working Time Regulations. For more information search 'Check if you can claim for your employees' wages' on GOV.UK.
What about notice periods?
· For claim periods from 1 December, employers cannot claim CJRS grants for any days that their employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement or resignation.
Can employers re-employ someone and furlough them?
· If employees were on an employers’ payroll on 23 September 2020 (ie notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23 September) and were made redundant or stopped working for them afterwards, they can qualify for the scheme if they re-employ them and then place them on furlough.
What if I’ve claimed too much in error?
· If you or your client has claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, you must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
· 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
· 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.
· If you or your client do not do this, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest search 'Interest rates for late and early payments' on GOV.UK.
· You or your client can let us know as part of your next online claim without needing to call us. If you claimed too much but do not plan to submit further claims, you can let us know and make a repayment online through our card payment service or by bank transfer – search 'Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back' on GOV.UK.
What if I haven’t claimed enough?
· If you or your client has made a mistake in a claim that means you received too little money, you’ll need to amend it within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to – unless this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, in which case the deadline is the next weekday. The deadline to amend claims for employees furloughed in November is Tuesday 29 December.
· To find out how to amend a claim, search 'Get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV.UK.
What information on claims will be published?
From February, we will publish the names, an indication of the value of claims and Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) of employers who make CJRS claims for periods from December onwards. The published value of a claim will be shown within a banded range – to find a list of these, search 'Check if you can claim for your employees' wages' on GOV.UK.
Details of CJRS claims will then be published monthly as part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims.
Employees will also be able to check if their employer has made a CJRS claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account from February. To set up a Personal Tax Account go to GOV.UK and search 'Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up'.