Furlough Update April 2021
The CJRS will now run until 30 September 2021.
A key change on the Furlough update April 2021 is that for claim periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, the scheme can be used to make claims for employees who were employed on 2 March 2021 (and for whom an RTI submission had been made to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021).
For periods ending on or before 30 April 2021, the scheme can be used to make claims for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020 (and for whom an RTI submission had been made to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020).
Does an employer need to have claimed for Furlough previously?
What contributions do employers have to make?
At present, employers are only required to pay pension contributions and NICs for furloughed workers (as well as paying in full for any hours worked on a flexible furlough basis). That will remain the case through to the end of June.
From July, employers will be required to make contributions to pay for furloughed workers:
- July: employers will need to pay 10% of furloughed hours as well as pension contributions and NICs; and
- August and September: employers will need to pay 20% of furloughed hours as well as pension contributions and NICs.
Throughout the period until the end of September, the scheme will cover up to 80% of wages for hours not worked, up to a limit of £2,500 per month.
Employers remain permitted to top their employees’ wages up above the 80%/£2,500 cap if they wish to do so.
How do employers calculate pay and hours?
There is detailed guidance from the Government here about calculating the amounts that can be claimed but we have summarised the key information here.
Employees who were on your payroll on 19 March 2020 (i.e. for whom a real-time information (RTI) submission was made on or before 19 March 2020) or for whom you have made a valid furlough claim for a period ending on or before 31 October 2020, will continue to have their reference pay and hours based on the same calculations as for the original CJRS.
Employees who were on your payroll on 30 October 2020:
For Employees on a fixed salary
- The 80% is calculated on the basis of the wages payable in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020; and
- Their usual hours are the contracted hours worked in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020.
For employees whose pay varies
- The 80% is calculated as the average between the start date of their employment or 6 April 2020 (whichever is later) and the day before their furlough period begins (inclusive); and
- Their usual hours will be the average hours worked between the start date of the 2020/2021 tax year (6 April 2020) and the date before their furlough period begins (inclusive).
Employees who were first reported on your payroll between 31 October 2020 and 2 March 2021 can be furloughed from 1 May 2021. We are awaiting details of how these individuals’ pay and hours should be calculated.
Does the furlough scheme cover all kinds of employees?
The furlough update April 2021 extends that you can claim for employees on any type of employment contract and that employees can be fully furloughed or any variant of flexible furlough (provided such arrangements are agreed and appropriately documented). There remains no minimum furlough period (although claims must be for minimum seven day periods).
If you have employees within your business who have transferred in under TUPE on or after 1 January 2021, you will be able to claim for them as the new employer-provided they were employed by the old employer on or before 2 March 2021, transferred to you as the new employer on or after 1 January 2021 and were included on an RTI submission by their old employer between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021.
Can employers claim for notice periods?
In line with the change brought in in December 2020, you cannot claim from the CJRS for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which a furloughed employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period. This includes employees who have resigned or retired.