There have been further changes made to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance. Detailed below are the specific sections of the guidance which have been updated.

Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • A new section has been added called ‘if you’re a supply teacher’. This says that supply teachers (in school holiday periods) are no different from any other employee and the employer can make a claim if the normal eligibility criteria is met
  • In the section ‘while you’re on furlough’ a line has been added to make clear that if the employee is made redundant, the statutory redundancy pay is to be calculated on the pay that would have normally been paid, not the reduced contractual pay if the employee had not been paid at 100% whilst on furlough. This is in recognition of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week’s Pay) Regulations 2020 and the announcement from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

The updated HMRC guidance does not mention that BEIS and the new 2020 legislation relates to individuals who have their contract written under the Employment Rights Act 1996.  This means that the department and legislation extend to Great Britain only.  Therefore, it does not extend to Northern Ireland where individuals may have their contract written under the Employment Rights Order. Northern Ireland will make similar regulations that will update the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

 

Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The changes to this section mirror the above guidance, i.e. about:

  • Supply teachers and
  • Statutory redundancy (and other statutory payments) being calculated on normal pay rather than pay that might have been reduced as a result of the employee being furloughed

 

Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This updated section reads:

Page updated with a new section on how to calculate your claim for fixed pay employees who have worked enough overtime (in the tax year 2019 to 2020) to have a significant impact on the amount you need to claim.

This is to work out how much you can claim as a grant if the employee is on a fixed salary but the amount of overtime they were paid in 2019/20 was enough to have a ‘significant effect’ on their earnings.  If it was significant (see the examples in the updated guidance), the reclaim is to be made as if the worker had pay that varies (rather than pay that is fixed).

If more can be claimed now, this will surely impact on the amount that could have been paid to furloughed employees.  If employers want to change the amount that they reclaim, the guidance appears to say that the calculation process should be amended going forward, not backwards. Remember, though, that the amount you reclaim must not be less than the amount paid to the employee.

 

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This update is about employees that do not have a National Insurance Number for one reason or another.  HMRC’s systems can no longer accept claims for under 100 employees where National Insurance Numbers are missing.  The update says that HMRC should only be contacted ‘if your employee has a temporary number or genuinely has never had one’.  Temporary NINOs should not be used.

Ensure that you make every effort to get the employee’s correct NINO before making the claim (contacting HMRC if you cannot get it).  Remember that a claim for the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus, payable from February 2021, is dependent on CJRS claims being accurate, as well as RTI submissions.

 

Please retain a copy of the latest guidance or, at least, the guidance that you have been working to.

 

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