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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – 21st April 20


Hibberts Blog Covid-19 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

There has been a plethora of new information and guidance about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) since it was announced. On Wednesday 15th April the Chancellor issued a statutory Direction to HMRC which provide long-awaited information and gave clarification about some questions surrounding the Scheme – but not all.

Monday 20th April saw the online HMRC portal up and running. We gather day one was not without its’ issues and hiccups, to be expected one might assume, but we are aware of some businesses having already successfully submitted their claims for payment under the CJRS.

The last four weeks have proved a salient reminder that things can change so very quickly and what we could confidently say on one day would then be altered only a very short time later. If you take one piece of advice away with you from reading this article it is not to make any assumptions, always check that you are working from the latest piece of guidance, be that on https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support or other sources, and if in doubt seek advice from a subject matter expert. There is a lot of information out there on the CJRS, some of it helpful, some of it less so and it is vital that you are basing your current actions on the up to date guidance and best practice.

To remind you, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been created to support employers if their operations have been severely affected by coronavirus. The novel scheme which has been created from scratch in a matter of weeks means that employers (of all types, shape and size) are able to ‘furlough’ employees and apply for grants which are not repayable. The scheme will cover 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 per month, per employee, plus the usual employer NIC and minimum employer automatic enrolment pension contributions.

The Scheme was initially in place for 3 months from 1st March but last week it was announced has been extended for one further month so it will be around until 30th June 2020 at least. Much has changed about the Scheme in a short space of time and many of the questions we do now have answers to. We are regularly advising about the answers to the following types of questions:

  • How do we deal with holidays and holiday pay?
  • New starters – can they be furloughed?
  • How do we calculate the sums you can claim?
  • Are directors covered by the Scheme? If so what are they allowed to do?
  • Can you furlough an employee multiple times?
  • What is the minimum period of furlough?
  • What if someone is off sick?
  • Can I ask them to do small amount of work for me?
  • Can you furlough an employee if they must shield for 12 weeks?
  • I have an employee who is unable to work due to childcare – can I furlough them?
  • Can a furloughed employee do volunteer work or training?
  • Can they start or continue with a second job?
  • What happens if there has been a TUPE transfer or a change of ownership?

You should keep up to date with the latest information, guidance and advice as this is a very fluid situation which is changing on a daily basis. This blog is no substitute for legal advice and specialist advice should always be sought about your particular situation.

Employers can obtain expert employment law advice about the CJRS and any other employment law matters in a timely and efficient manner from Hibberts solicitors. You may also benefit from advice upon how to implement the Scheme and template letters.

Should you or your business require employment law advice at this difficult time then please don’t hesitate to contact us. For more information, call 01270 215117 or visit us at www.hibberts.com