The Chancellor announced in the House of Commons on 5 November 2020 a further extension of the furlough scheme (CJRS) until the end of March 2021. 
 
The furlough scheme was initially extended until 2 December. But the government is now going further so that support can be put in place for long enough to help businesses recover. Evidence from the first lockdown showed that the economic effects are much longer lasting for businesses than the duration of restrictions. 
Full guidance for the CJRS extension will be published on 10 November 2020 to cover periods from 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021
 
The guidance for claim periods from 1 February 2021 will be published after the government’s review in January 2021 to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more. 
 
For claims from 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked. 
 
Key points: 
 
• Employers can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. 
 
• Employees do not need to have been furloughed under the CJRS previously. 
 
• Employer contributions during the CJRS extension until January will be the same as in August 2020 as explained in our blog here. This means that employers will pay NICs and pension contributions if the wages are above the set thresholds. 
 
• Employees cannot undertake any work during the hours that the employer records them as being on furlough. They cannot do any work for their employer that makes money or provides services for their employer
 
• Furlough period must be for a minimum of 7 consecutive calendar days. 
 
• To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee in writing that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed. 
 
• Employers must keep records of how many hours their employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (for example, not working), for 6 years. 
 
• Employers will not be required to contribute towards 80% of the employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked but will be required to cover NICs and pension contributions. 
 
• Grants payments are anticipated 6 working days after the first claims. 
 
Key deadlines: 
 
• The closing date for claims up to and including 31 October 2020 remains 30 November 2020 under the existing CJRS guidance. The government will pay 60% of furlough pay and employer will be asked to contribute 20% of the furlough. 
 
• For periods from 1 November 2020 to 11 November 2020, employers will be able to claim from 8am on Wednesday 11 November 2020, and claims must be made by 14 December 2020. The government will pay 80% of usual wages until 31 January 2021. 
 
• Claims relating from 1 December 2020 must submitted by day 14 of the following month
 
• Full guidance will include further detail on how to claim and will be published on 10 November 2020
 
Finally, as the CJRS is now being extended to 31 March 2021, the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) will not be paid in February 2021. 
 
Please do get in touch with your usual Chart Accountancy contact if you have any questions. 
 
Keep safe and well. 
 
Chart Accountancy Team 
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