Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS): a cash grant payable to employers up to 31 March 2021. 

At a glance

This guide covers the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from 1 November 2020. For details of the scheme which applied between March 2020 and 31 October 2020 see: COVID-19: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to 31 October 2020

  • The CJRS seeks to support employers who are unable to maintain their workforce because their operations have been affected by Coronavirus.
  • Employers may furlough employees and claim a CJRS grant in respect of hours not worked by furloughed employees.
  • For claim periods running between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021, employers can claim 80% of an employee's usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. 
    • The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
  • Employers can top up employee wages for hours not worked above the maximum salary threshold at their own expense.
  • Employers will pay the employee’s wages for the hours they work as normal, as well as employer National Insurance and employer pension contributions.
    • For hours not worked, employers will cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
    • Employees will pay Income Tax and National Insurance deductions on all amounts paid to them, as normal. 
  • Employers do not need to have used the CJRS previously.
  • Employers across the UK can claim, whether their businesses are open or closed, providing they have a UK PAYE scheme created before 30 October 2020, a UK bank account and are enrolled for PAYE online. .
  • Publicly funded organisations should not use the scheme. Partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted.
  • From 1 December 2020, HMRC will publish employer names for those who have made claims under the scheme for the month of December onwards. This will also include an indication as to the value of the claim. 

Overview

Who can be furloughed?

  • Any employee, apprentice, agency worker, salaried member of an LLP, director or other office-holder.
  • Full time, part-time or casual or zero-hours workers are included.
  • Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed.
  • Employees on all categories of visa can be furloughed: grants under the scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’.
  • Individuals must have been on the employer's payroll on 30 October 2020 and a Real-Time Information (RTI) submission made between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020 notifying a payment of earnings to that employee. 
  • Employers do not need to place all of their employees on furlough.

Can your employee work when furloughed?

  • Employers have the flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time or shift pattern, furloughing employees on either a full-time or part-time basis. Employers may vary the hours worked in agreement with the employee.
  • During the hours that an employee is recorded on furlough, they cannot do any work for their employer that makes money or provides services for their employer or any organisation linked or associated with their employer. During this time, employees can: 
    • Take part in training.
    • Volunteer for another employer or organisation.
    • Work for another employer (if contractually allowed).
  • Where training is undertaken by furloughed employees during hours which they are recorded as being on furlough, at the request of their employer, they are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate National Minimum Wage for that time.

Can employees be furloughed where their health has been affected by Coronavirus or other conditions?

  • The CJRS is not intended for short-term sick absences.
  • If employers want to furlough employees for business reasons and they are currently off sick, they are able to do so.
  • Employers can furlough employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable, at the highest risk of severe illness from Coronavirus or off on long-term sick leave. It is up to employers to decide whether to furlough these employees.
  • Employees can also be furloughed where they are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from Coronavirus, including employees that need to look after children.
  • Furloughed employees who become ill due to Coronavirus or any other cause must be paid at least Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
    • It is up to employers to decide whether to move these employees onto SSP or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate.

Can employees who have stopped working or been made redundant be re-employed and subsequently furloughed? 

  • Employees that employed on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer after that date can be re-employed and claimed for.
  • The employer must have made a PAYE Real-Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020 notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
  • Employees who were on a fixed-term contract, on payroll on 23 September and that contract expired after 23 September can be re-employed and claimed for, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met.

How long can furlough last?

  • Employers can:
    • Fully furlough employees: this means the employee does no work for the employer.
    • Flexibly furlough employees: this means employees can work for any amount of time, and any work pattern and claim the grant for the furloughed hours, with reference to hours the employee would usually have worked in that period. Employees cannot work during the time they are recorded as being on furlough.
  • There is no minimum furlough period.
  • Flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time. Employees can enter into a flexible furlough agreement more than once.
  • Although flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time unless otherwise specified the period claimed for must be for a minimum claim period of seven consecutive calendar days.

What needs to be agreed to furlough employees? 

  • Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement.
  • When employers are making decisions in relation to the CJRS process, including deciding who to offer furlough to, employment, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.
  • To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached a collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed.

Employers must:

  • Make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws.
  • Keep a written record of the agreement for five years.
  • Keep records of how many hours their employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed, for six years.

The employee does not have to provide a written response.

The terms of any agreement must:

  • Reflect the hours the employee has actually worked or not worked over the period of the agreement.
  • Allow the employer to satisfy the terms of CJRS so they can make a claim in relation to hours not worked.

Where consistent with employment law, any flexible furlough or furlough agreement made retrospectively that has effect from 1 November 2020 will be valid for the purposes of a CJRS claim as long as it is made according to the conditions above.

Only retrospective agreements put in place up to and including the 13 November 2020 may be relied on for the purposes of a CJRS claim.

What employee rights do those on furlough have?

Furloughed employees still have the same rights at work, including:

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
  • Annual leave.
  • Maternity and other parental rights.
  • Rights against unfair dismissal.
  • Redundancy payments.

Employers can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period, however, grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments. HMRC will continue to monitor businesses after the scheme has closed.

For claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, employers cannot claim for any days on or after that date during which employees are serving a contractual or statutory notice period (this includes people serving notice of retirement or resignation).

How does holiday pay interact with furlough?

  • Furloughed employees continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract.
  • The employer and employee can agree to vary holiday entitlement as part of the furlough agreement. 
    • Almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory paid annual leave each year which they cannot go below.
  • Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough.
    • If an employee is flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.
  • Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period.

How does furlough work for employees returning from leave? 

  • If an employee returns from maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity or parental bereavement leave and an employer is claiming in respect of a period that starts on or after 1 November, the normal scheme rules apply.
  • If an employee decides to end their maternity leave early to enable them to be furloughed (with the employer's agreement), they will need to give at least eight weeks’ notice of their return to work and the employer will not be able to furlough them until the end of the eight weeks.

Administration and how to claim 

  • To make a claim, you will need:
    • To be registered for PAYE online.
    • Your UK, Channel Island or Isle of Man bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted).
    • The billing address on your bank account (this is the address on your bank statements).
    • Your employer PAYE scheme reference number.
    • The number of employees being furloughed.
    • Each employee’s National Insurance number.
    • The start date and end date of the claim.
    • The full amounts that you’re claiming for.
    • Your phone number.
    • Contact name.
  • You also need to provide either:
    • Your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent).
    • Your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference.
    • Your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference.
    • Your company registration number.
  • If you’re claiming for employees that are flexibly furloughed, you’ll also need:
    • The number of usual hours your employee would usually work in the claim period.
    • The number of hours your employee has or will work in the claim period.
    • You will also need to keep a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period.
  • Agents authorised for PAYE online are able to make claims on behalf of employers. 
  • Where more than 100 employees are on furlough, HMRC have provided a template to be populated and uploaded when a claim is made. 
  • Claims must be submitted by 23:59 14 calendar days after the month to which they relate. If this time falls on the weekend then claims should be submitted on the next working day.
  • Claim deadlines: 
    • 14 December 2020 for November 2020 furlough days.
    • 14 January 2021 for December 2020 furlough days.
    • 15 February 2021 for January 2021 furlough days.
    • 15 March 2021 for February 2021 furlough days.
    • 14 April 2021  for March 2021 furlough days.
  • HMRC may accept late claims where there is a reasonable excuse, reasonable care was taken to avoid making a claim late, and the claim was subsequently made without delay after the excuse no longer applied. 
    • HMRC will not consider reasonable excuses in advance of the claim deadline. 
  • After claiming, HMRC will check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by BACs into your bank account within six working days.

Employers must: 

  • Keep a copy of all records for six years, including:
    • The amount claimed and claim period for each employee.
    • The claim reference number.
    • Their calculations, in case HMRC need more information about their claim.
    • For employees they flexibly furloughed, usual hours worked including any calculations that were required.
    • For employees they flexibly furloughed, actual hours worked.
  • Tell their employees that they have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action.
  • Pay the full amount they are claiming for their employee’s wages to their employee. They must also pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC.

Amounts under-claimed 

  • If you made an error in your claim that has resulted in you receiving too little money, you will still need to make sure you pay your employees the correct amount.
  • You will only be able to increase the amount of your claim if you amend the claim within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to (unless this falls on a weekend and then the deadline is the next working day).
  • Amendment deadlines (23:59 on):
    • 29 December 2020 for November 2020.
    • 28 January 2021 for December 2020.
    • 1 March 2021 for January 2021.
    • 29 March 2021 for February 2021.
    • 28 April 2021 for March 2021.

Amounts over-claimed 

  • Where CJRS amounts are over-claimed, or an employer wishes to make a voluntary repayment they can either: 
    • Make the correction in their next claim (keeping a record of the adjustment for six years). 
    • Obtain a payment reference number via HMRC's online service and pay HMRC back within 30 days (this only applies where the employer will not be making another claim). 
  • Over-claimed grants which have not been repaid must be notified to HMRC by the latest of: 
    • 90 days after the date the grant was received.
    • 20 October 2020.
  • Failure to notify HMRC can result in a penalty. 

Calculations

To calculate how much can be claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme it is necessary to work out:

  • The length of your claim period.
  • What you can include when calculating wages.
  • Your employees’ usual hours and furloughed hours.

Length of your claim period and claim rules

  • The start date of the first claim period is the date the first employee was furloughed.
  • Claim periods must start and end within the same calendar month.
  • Claim periods must generally last at least seven days.
    • Claims can only be made for a period of fewer than seven days if the period claimed for includes either the first or last day of the calendar month, and a claim has already been made for the period ending immediately before it.
  • Claim periods should match to the dates employers process their payroll, if possible.
  • Employers can only make one claim for any period so must include all furloughed or flexibly furloughed employees in one claim even if they are paid at different times.
  • If more than one claim is made, subsequent claims cannot overlap with any other claim that has been made previously.
  • Where employees have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed continuously (or both), the claim periods must follow on from each other with no gaps in between the dates.
  • Claims can be made before, during or after the payroll is processed as long as the claim is submitted by the relevant claim deadline.
  • Claims can usually be made up to 14 days before the claim period end date and it is not necessary to wait until the end of a claim period to make the next claim.
  • When claiming for employees who are flexibly furloughed, employers should not claim until they are sure of the exact number of hours they will have worked during the claim period. 
  • Payments will be made six working days after claims are made.

What you can include when calculating wages

The amount used when calculating 80% of employees’ wages for hours not worked is made up of the regular payments an employer is obliged to make, including:

  • Regular wages paid to employees.
  • Non-discretionary payments for hours worked, including overtime.
  • Non-discretionary fees.
  • Non-discretionary commission payments.
  • Piece-rate payments.

Non-discretionary amounts include payments which the employer has a contractual obligation to pay and to which the employee has an enforceable right.

The following cannot be included when calculating wages:

  • Payments made at the discretion of the employer or a client: where the employer or client was under no contractual obligation to pay, including:
    • Any tips, including those distributed through troncs.
    • Discretionary bonuses.
    • Discretionary commission payments.
  • Non-cash payments.
  • Non-monetary benefits like Benefits In Kind (such as a company car) and benefits received under salary sacrifice schemes (including pension contributions) that reduce an employee’s taxable pay.

The entirety of the grant received to cover an employee’s subsidised furlough pay must be paid to them in the form of money. 

Where benefits are provided to furloughed employees, including through a salary sacrifice scheme, these benefits should be in addition to the wages that must be paid under the CJRS.

Miscellaneous points: 

  • Fixed pay employees returning from family-related statutory leave should be calculated against their normal salary, not the pay they received whilst on family-related statutory leave.
    • Family-related statutory leave includes maternity leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave, parental bereavement leave and unpaid parental leave.
  • Fixed pay employees returning to work after being on sick pay should be calculated against their normal salary, not the pay they received whilst off sick.
    • Claims for those on variable pay returning to work after time off sick should be calculated using the normal rules for employees whose pay varies.
  • Employees who have been on unpaid sabbatical or unpaid leave should be calculated on the amount they would have been paid if they were on paid leave.

Usual hours and furloughed hours

  • Where employees are 'fully furloughed' (i.e. they do no work in the claim period) it is not necessary to work out their usual and furloughed hours. 
    • In this instance, it is only necessary to work out the 'maximum wage amount' (see below). 
  • Where employees are flexibly furloughed it is necessary to work out their usual hours and record the actual hours they work as well as their furloughed hours for each claim period.
  • Usual hours can be calculated for the entire claim period or for each pay period, or part of a pay period, that falls within that claim period. This guidance assumes that calculations will be on a pay period basis but either method is acceptable.
  • Where usual hours for the entire claim period is not a whole number, it should be rounded up to the next whole number.
  • Usual hours on a pay period basis should be rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.
  • Where employees are not contracted to a fixed number of hours or their pay depends on the number of hours they work, their usual hours should be worked out on the basis for employees who work variable hours.
    • For all other employees, their usual hours should be worked out on the basis for employees who are contracted for a fixed number of hours.

Calculating usual hours: employees who are contracted for a fixed number of hours and whose pay does not vary according to the number of hours they work

  1. Start with the hours the employee was contracted for at the end of their 'reference period'.
  2. Divide by the number of calendar days in the repeating working pattern, including non-working days.
  3. Multiply by the number of calendar days in the pay period (or partial pay period) being claimed for.
  4. Round up or down if the result isn’t a whole number.
  • The 'reference period' is the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020 for employees who either:
    • Were on the payroll on 19 March 2020 (meaning payment of earnings was made to them in the tax year 2019 to 2020 which was reported to HMRC on a Real-Time Information (RTI) Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before 19 March 2020).
    • Had a valid CJRS claim for them in a claim period ending any time on or before 31 October 2020.
  • For all other employees, the employee’s reference period will be their last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020. 
  • If an employee with fixed hours was on annual leave, off work sick or on family-related statutory leave at any time during the last reference period, the usual hours should be calculated as if the employee had not taken that leave.

Calculating usual hours: employees who work variable hours 

  • Where employees received a payment of earnings in the tax year 2019-20 which was reported on a Real-Time Information (RTI) Full Payment Submission (FPS) to HMRC on or before 19 March 2020 usual hours are based on the higher of either:
    • The average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
    • The corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
  • This also applies to employees for whom a valid CJRS claim was made in a claim period ending any time on or before 31 October 2020.
  • For all other employees, usual hours are based on the average number of hours worked from 6 April 2020 and up to the employee’s first day spent on furlough on or after 1 November 2020.

To work out the usual hours for each pay period (or partial pay period) based on the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019 to 2020:

  1. Start with the number of hours actually worked (or on paid annual leave or flexi-leave) in the tax year 2019 to 2020 before the employee was furloughed, or the end of the tax year if earlier.
  2. Divide by the number of calendar days the employee was employed by you in the tax year 2019 to 2020, up until the day before they were furloughed or the end of the tax year if earlier.
  3. Multiply by the number of calendar days in the pay period (or partial pay period) you are claiming for.
  4. Round up or down if the result isn’t a whole number.

When calculating the number of calendar days in step 2, you should not count any calendar days where the employee was on a period of:

  • Statutory sick pay related leave.
  • Family-related statutory leave.
  • Reduced rate paid leave following a period of statutory sick pay related leave.
  • Reduced rate paid leave following a period of family-related statutory leave.

To work out the usual hours for a pay period or partial pay period based on the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020:

  1. Identify the pay periods in the 2019 to 2020 tax year that correspond to at least one calendar day in the pay period (or partial pay period) you are claiming for.
  2. If the pay period (or partial pay period) you are claiming for starts and ends on the same calendar days as the identified pay period in the tax year 2019 to 2020, use the number of hours they actually worked in that pay period.
  3. If the pay period (or partial pay period) you are claiming for does not start and end on the same calendar days as the identified pay periods in the tax year 2019 to 2020, you’ll need to add together a proportion of the hours worked in each of the pay periods you’ve identified.

If you have to work out the usual hours based on the hours worked in more than one pay period in the tax year 2019 to 2020:

  1. Start with the number of hours worked in the first pay period identified in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
  2. Multiply by the number of calendar days in that pay period which corresponds to at least one calendar day in the pay period (or partial pay period) you are claiming for.
  3. Divide by the total number of calendar days in the pay period in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
  4. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 for each subsequent identified pay period in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
  5. Add them all together.
  6. Round up or down if the result is not a whole number.

To work out the usual hours for each pay period (or partial pay period) based on the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2020 to 2021:

  1. Start with the number of hours actually worked (or on paid annual leave or flexi-leave) from 6 April 2020 and up to the employee’s first day spent on furlough on or after 1 November 2020.
  2. Divide by the number of calendar days the employee was employed by you in the tax year 2020 to 2021, up until the day before they were furloughed.
  3. Multiply by the number of calendar days in the pay period (or partial pay period) you are claiming for.
  4. Round up or down if the result isn’t a whole number.

When you calculate the number of calendar days in step 2, you should not count any calendar days where the employee was on a period of:

  • Statutory sick pay related leave.
  • Family-related statutory leave.
  • Reduced rate paid leave following a period of statutory sick pay related leave.
  • Reduced rate paid leave following a period of family-related statutory leave.

Calculating the number of working and furloughed hours for each employee

  • You will have agreed how many hours your flexibly furloughed employee is going to work in the claim period. They will be furloughed for the rest of their usual hours.

To calculate the number of furloughed hours:

  1. Start with your employee’s usual hours.
  2. Subtract the number of hours they actually worked in the claim period, even if this is different from what you agreed.

If you claim in advance and your employee works for more hours than you agreed, then you’ll have to pay some of the grant back to HMRC. This means that you should not claim until you have certainty about the number of hours your employees are working during the claim period.

Calculating the number of working and furloughed hours for an employee that is furloughed or flexibly furloughed for part of a claim period

If your employee is only furloughed or flexibly furloughed for part of your claim period, when calculating the number of furloughed hours you can claim for make sure you:

  • Only calculate the employee’s usual hours for the days covered by the furlough agreement.
  • Do not include any working hours on days not covered by a furlough agreement.

This applies even if your claim period includes days before or after the employee’s furlough agreement (for example, because you’re claiming for multiple employees and some of them are furloughed for a different period).

HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme calculator 

HMRC have provided a calculator to work out amounts that can be claimed. 

Maximum wage amount

  • The maximum wage amount is £2,500 a month or £576.92 a week.
    • This is the upper limit of the amount that can be claimed for an employee’s wages.
  • If the length of time a claim is for is not one week or one month, it will be necessary to use the daily maximum wage amounts to work out the maximum amount for each employee.
  • To work out the maximum amount which can be claimed, multiply the daily maximum wage amount by the number of calendar days the employee is furloughed for in the claim.
  • The daily maximum wage amounts are: 
    • November 2020: £83.34.
    • December 2020: £80.65.
    • January 2021: £80.65.

Working out 80% of an employee’s usual wage

It is necessary to work out 80% of an employee’s usual wages to determine:

  • How much the employee has to be paid for the time they are furloughed.
  • What can be claimed under the scheme.

You will need to identify the number of furlough days in the period. A furlough day means every calendar day within a period where the employee was either:

  • Fully furloughed.
  • Under a flexible furlough agreement.

The way you should work out 80% of your employee’s usual wages is different depending on the way they’re paid. You must check what you can include as wages first.

Choose the calculation you think best fits the way your employee is paid, this might not be the same way that you have worked out their usual hours. For example, if you pay your employee a fixed regular salary, use the calculation for fixed pay amounts. HMRC will not decline or seek repayment of any grant based solely on the particular choice of pay calculation, as long as a reasonable choice is made.

80% of wages: employees on a fixed salary

To work out 80% of your employee’s wage:

  1. Start with the wages payable to your employee in their reference period. If you’re claiming for a full pay period, skip to step 4.
  2. Divide by the total number of days in the pay period.
  3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in the pay period.
  4. Multiply by 80%.

80% of wages: employees whose reference period is not a full pay period or the pay frequency has changed

You will need to work out your employee's usual wages and then calculate 80% if:

  • Your employee’s reference period is not a full pay period.
  • Your employee’s pay frequency has changed between the reference period and the pay period you are calculating for.

To work out their usual wages and then calculate 80%:

  1. Start with the wages payable to your employee in their reference period.
  2. Divide by the number of days in that period (including non-working days).
  3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in the pay period you are claiming for.
  4. Multiply by 80%.

80% of wages: employees whose pay varies

  • For employees who were on your payroll on 19 March 2020, that is you made a payment of earnings to them in the tax year 2019 to 2020 which was reported to HMRC on a Real-Time Information (RTI) Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before 19 March 2020 you should calculate 80% of the higher of:
    • The wages earned in the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
    • The average wages payable in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
  • This also applies to employees’ for whom you made a valid CJRS claim in a claim period ending any time on or before 31 October 2020.
  • For all other employees, you should calculate 80% of the average wages payable between 6 April 2020 (or, if later, the date the employment started) and the day before they are furloughed on or after 1 November 2020.

To calculate 80% of the wages from the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020:

  1. Start with the amount they earned in the same period last year.
  2. Divide by the total number of days in this pay period, including non-working days.
  3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in this pay period.
  4. Multiply by 80%.

If your employee did not work for you in the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020, you can only use the averaging method to calculate 80% of their wages.

To work out 80% of the average monthly wages for the tax year 2019 to 2020:

  1. Start with the amount of wages that were payable to the employee in the tax year up to the day before they were first furloughed.
  2. Divide it by the number of days from the start of the tax year, including non-working days (up to the day before they were first furloughed, or 5 April 2020, whichever is earlier).
  3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in this pay period.
  4. Multiply by 80%.

Each day after the employee commenced employment with you is counted in making this calculation. This includes non-working days.

If your employee started working for you on or after 6 April 2019, you should not include the days before their employment started in your calculation.

To work out 80% of your employee’s average earnings for an employee who started working for you on or after 6 April 2019:

  1. Start with the amount of wages that were payable to the employee in the tax year up to the day before they were first furloughed.
  2. Divide it by the number of days they’ve been employed since the start of the tax year, including non-working days (up to the day before they were first furloughed or 5 April 2020, whichever is earlier).
  3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in this pay period.
  4. Multiply by 80%.

Every day after the employee commenced employment with you is counted in making this calculation. This includes non-working days.

To work out 80% of your employee’s average wages between 6 April 2020 (or, if later, the date the employment started) and the day before they are furloughed on or after 1 November 2020:

  1. Start with the amount of wages that were payable to the employee from 6 April 2020 and up to the employee’s first day spent on furlough on or after 1 November 2020.
  2. Divide it by the number of days they’ve been employed since the start of the tax year, including non-working days (up until the day before they were furloughed).
  3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in the pay period (or partial pay period) you are claiming for.
  4. Multiply by 80%.

Minimum furlough pay

The minimum furlough pay is the lesser of either:

  • 80% of the employee's usual wage.
  • The maximum wage amount.

If your employee is flexibly furloughed the minimum furlough pay depends on their working and furloughed hours.

  1. Start with the lesser of:
    • 80% of their usual wages.
    • The maximum wage amount.
  1. Multiply by the employee’s furloughed hours.
  2. Divide by the employee’s usual hours.

This is the minimum amount you must pay your employee for the time they are recorded as being on furlough. 

If any of the furlough hours are taken as paid holiday or annual leave, you need to top up the pay for these hours to the employee’s full contracted rate.

Example calculations 

HMRC have provided a number of example calculations.  

Letter to an employee for use from 1 November 2020

[Employer name if not on headed paper]

[Employer address]

[Date]

Dear [Employee name]

[Due to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic you have already been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We have identified you as a suitable employee to remain furloughed.] OR [Due to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, we have [identified you as a suitable employee to be furloughed/agreed with you that you will be furloughed*] under the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme]*.

You will continue to be paid [as normal/and will receive 80% of your normal pay [for hours not worked]/and will receive pay of £2,500 per month]***

Income tax and national insurance will be deducted from your pay as normal.

You will continue to be our employee during the furloughed period.

Your furlough period starts on [start date]. It will end on the earlier of:

  • The date we request you to return to work.
  • 31 March 2021 unless this date is extended by the government. We will notify you if this is the case.

We expect the period not to exceed five months. This may be extended if government restrictions mean that it is not possible for you to return to work. 

[During your furlough period you will be required to work [insert number of hours]** per week/month]*. OR [The number of hours that you will be required to work during your furlough period will be agreed with you in writing at the start of each week/month]*

[As already discussed we agree that you may other undertake paid temporary work/and unpaid voluntary work during your furloughed period]*

We will contact you when you are required to return to work.

[Please sign the attached form to confirm your agreement to being a furloughed employee and return to [name of the appropriate person/address or email address] by [date]****.

Yours sincerely

Notes for completion - DELETE BEFORE SENDING

*Delete as appropriate.

** Insert the number of hours you require the employee to work per week or month. If this will change you should agree this with the employee and issue them with a new letter accordingly.

 ***Only use the £2,500 per month option where employee earnings are such that 80% of their normal gross pay is more than £2,500 per month and they are not flexibly furloughed. 

You will not need your employee’s agreement to the furlough if:

•         They will continue to receive their full pay.

•         Their contract allows you to reduce their pay if there is no work for them.

****It is recommended that you set a deadline for responses.

 

Employee response form

A form for a furloughed employee to return to the employer

I [Employee name and works/employee number (if they have one)] consent to being a furloughed employee until such time as I am asked to return to work.

I understand that I remain an employee of [insert name of employer] and must continue to adhere to the terms of my employment other than by prior agreement with my employer.

……………………………………………

PRINT NAME

…………………………………………….

SIGN HERE

………………………………………………

DATE

Errors/Overclaims

HMRC lists the following as areas where employers may make errors:

  1. Did you re-employ any staff you had previously let go?
  2. Did you use the calculator on gov.uk?
  3. Is the claim period entered the same as the period used for the calculation?
  4. Did you restrict your claim to 80 percent of employees’ usual pay?
  5. Did you top up above the 80 percent that you can claim? If so, have you claimed for the top up amount?
  6. Do you have a mixture of weekly and monthly paid employees? If so, how have you accounted for this?
  7. How did you determine what each employee’s usual pay was? You should only calculate usual pay based on pay figures up to 19 March.
  8. Have you taken account of a pay rise which only took effect after 19 March? You should only calculate usual pay based on pay figures up to 19 March.
  9. If the claim period is for July or later, have you flexibly furloughed any employees? If so, how did you calculate their usual hours?
  10. Have you included any non-contractual bonuses?
  11. Was the grant distributed correctly and on time?
  12. Was an overclaim offset against a further claim?
  13. Were additional ineligible staff included in the claim?
  14. Have any adjustments to earlier years been made?
  15. Have you claimed NI contribution and also claimed Employer National Insurance Allowance?
  16. Is the claim for a Director only scheme? (if a director had not submitted a return by 19 March they were excluded).

If, after reviewing these areas, you need to disclose an overclaim search for 'Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back' on GOV.UK. 

Amounts can be disclosed and repaid if you are still making claims, if not a separate disclosure and repayment to HMRC is required.

Comments (0)

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 voters
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest.
Rate this post:
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location