What is CJRS? When does the CJRS apply? How to claim CJRS. How to calculate CJRS claim amounts.
This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which applied from 1 November 2020 to 30 September 2021.
At a glance
This guide covers the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from 1 November 2020.
For details of the previous version of the scheme see: COVID-19: CJRS to 31 October 2020
The CJRS ended on 30 September 2021.
- 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 30 June 2021, employers could claim 80% of an employee's usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
- From 1 July 2021, employers are required to contribute towards the cost of unworked hours. These contributions are:
- 10% in July 2021 (up to £312.50).
- The government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50.
- 20% in August and September 2021 (up to £625).
- The government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875.
- 10% in July 2021 (up to £312.50).
- Employers can top up employee wages for hours not worked above the 80% covered by the grant (including mandatory employer top-up in July, August and September 2021) 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 2 March 2021 (for claims on or after 1 May 2021), 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.
- For claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, HMRC has published, from February 2021, employer names for those who have made claims under the scheme. This also includes an indication as to the value of the claim based on 14 banded ranges.
- Employers can request that HMRC does not publish details about their CJRS claim if they can show evidence that it would result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to:
- Them or anyone living with them.
- An individual associated with their business or anyone living with them.
- There is no right of appeal for those not eligible for the CJRS.
The CJRS ended on 30 September 2021
On cessation of the CJRS, employers must decide whether to:
- Bring furloughed employees back to work under their existing contracts.
- Agree changes to employment contracts with furloughed employees.
- Terminate the employment of furloughed employees. Normal redundancy rules will apply.
In each case, employment, equality and discrimination laws must be considered.
On 2 December 2021
- HMRC published details of the action required where the full value of CJRS grants received was not passed on to employees. See Errors/Overclaims tab.
On 27 May 2021
- HMRC have published a new template to use when claiming CJRS.
- The template must be used for all CJRS claims relating to 16 to 99 employees, made on or after 27 May 2021.
- Using the template, it is now possible to submit CJRS claims in the absence of some staff National Insurance numbers, without having to call HMRC.
- The template can be found here.
COVID-19 measures included in Budget 2021.
- The CJRS is extended to 30 September 2021.
- The scheme will continue in its current form until 30 June 2021.
- Employees will receive 80% of their normal salary for hours not worked.
- From 1 July 2021, employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of unworked hours. These contributions will be:
- 10% in July 2021 (up to £312.50).
- 20% in August 2021 (up to £625).
- 20% in September 2021 (up to £625).
- Employees will still be paid 80% of their wages for hours not worked, to a cap of £2,500.
- For periods from 1 May 2021, claims can be made for employees who were employed on 2 March 2021.
- The scheme will cease on 30 September 2021.
On 5 February 2021
- HMRC advised that the CJRS calculator on gov.uk contained an error that has since been corrected.
- Employers who used the calculator before 21 January 2021 to work out January CJRS claims for employees not on a fixed salary will need to re-calculate claims if:
- They used an employee’s pay for January 2019 as reference pay, instead of 2020, and
- The employee’s pay was different in January 2019 to January 2020.
- In cases where too much has been claimed, this can be amended on the next claim or HMRC advised as soon as possible with repayment made online.
- Where too little has been claimed, amendments can be made up to 1 March 2021.
On 26 January 2021
- HM Treasury published a Treasury Direction which covers the extension of the CJRS for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 April 2021.
- The schedule to the Direction sets out the scheme applying for the period 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021.
- Under the Direction, for employees with variable pay, their reference period for March and April 2021 claims will be based on the higher of:
- Average pay over 2019-20.
- March 2019 (for March 2021 claims) or April 2019 (for April 2021 claims).
On 5 January 2021
- HMRC have updated their guidance to clarify that individuals can be furloughed if caring responsibilities arising from Coronavirus mean they are unable to work (including from home) or are working reduced hours.
- This includes caring for:
- Children who are at home as a result of school or childcare facilities closing.
- A vulnerable individual in their household.
On 17 December 2020
- The chancellor announced that that CJRS will extend until 30 April 2020. This gives businesses certainty well ahead of the statutory 45 day redundancy notice period.
On 2 December 2020
HMRC have updated their guidance to say:
"You can only place employees on furlough if Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting your operations. You should not place employees on furlough just because:
- They are going to be on paid leave
- You usually do less business over the festive period.
Who can be furloughed?
- Any employee, apprentice, agency worker, salaried member of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), director or other office-holder.
- Contractors within the scope of the Off-Payroll (IR35) Working rules, engaged in either the public sector or with a medium or large-sized organisation can qualify.
- 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.
- For claim periods from 1 May 2021, claims can be made for employees who were employed on 2 March 2021, as long as a PAYE RTI submission was made to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
- It is not necessary to have previously claimed for an employee before the 2 March 2021 to claim for periods from 1 May 2021.
- 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.
- An employer does not need to be facing a wider reduction in demand or be closed to be eligible to claim for these employees.
- Employees remain eligible even whilst shielding guidance is not in place.
- Employees can also be furloughed where they are unable to work or are only able to work reduced hours, because they have caring responsibilities resulting from Coronavirus, including employees that need to look after children or a vulnerable individual in their household.
- 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?
Owing to the short-notice extension of the CJRS in October 2020:
- Employees that were 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 employees (or reached a collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed.
- 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 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.
- Employees should only be placed on furlough because operations have been affected by Coronavirus and not just because they are on paid leave.
- This applies equally during any peak periods in late December and early January.
- Working Time Regulations (WTR) require holiday pay to be paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay: employers will be obliged to pay employees who are on holiday additional amounts over the grant.
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 16 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.
- 14 May 2021 for April 2021 furlough days.
- 14 June 2021 for May 2021 furlough days.
- 14 July 2021 for June 2021 furlough days.
- 16 August 2021 for July 2021 furlough days.
- 14 September 2021 for August 2021 furlough days.
- 14 October 2021 for September 2021 furlough days.
- The earliest that a claim for May 2021 could be made was 19 April 2021.
- 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.
- Examples of reasonable excuses given by HMRC include:
- death of a close family member.
- serious/life threating illness including COVID or unexpected hospital stay which stopped you making a claim and nobody else could do it for you.
- computer/software failure.
- Postal delays.
- HMRC error.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 28 May 2021 for April 2021.
- 28 June 2021 for May 2021.
- 28 July 2021 for June 2021.
- 31 August 2021 for July 2021.
- 28 September 2021 for August 2021.
- 28 October 2021 for September 2021.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- For claim periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, when calculating average wages for employees on variable pay, do not include days during, or wages related to a period of family-related statutory leave or reduced rate paid leave following a period of family-related statutory leave.
- If the employee was on family-related statutory leave or reduced rate paid leave throughout the entire period used to calculate their average wages then you should include the days during, and wages related to the period of leave as the reference salary would otherwise be zero.
- This only applies when you are using the averaging method to work out your employee’s wages: the calendar lookback method is based on the amount they actually earned, even if they were on a period of statutory 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.
- For claim periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, when calculating average wages for employees on variable pay, you should not include days during, or wages related to a period of statutory sick pay leave or reduced rate paid leave following a period of statutory sick pay leave.
- If the employee was on statutory sick pay leave or reduced rate paid leave throughout the entire period used to calculate their average wages then you should include the days during, and wages related to the period of leave as the reference salary would otherwise be zero.
- 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.
It is necessary to establish each furloughed employee's reference date. This determines which calculation rules are used.
The employee’s reference date is 19 March 2020 if either:
- You made a payment of earnings to the employee in the tax year 2019-20 and reported this to HMRC on a RTI FPS on or before 19 March 2020.
- You made a valid CJRS claim for the employee for a claim period ending on or before 31 October 2020.
If the 19 March 2020 reference date does not apply, the employee’s reference date will be 30 October 2020 if either:
- You made a payment of earnings to the employee which was reported to HMRC on an RTI FPS between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.
- You made a valid CJRS claim for the employee for a claim period between 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021.
Where neither 19 March 2020 nor 30 October 2020 reference dates apply the employee is not eligible for periods starting before 1 May 2021.
If a payment of earnings was made to the employee which was reported on an RTI FPS between 31 October 2020 and 2 March 2021 (inclusive) they may be eligible for periods starting on or after 1 May 2021. Their reference date will be 2 March 2021.
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.
- 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.
HMRC have included detailed step-by-step instructions on calculating usual hours and furloughed hours in their guidance at Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
It is important to follow the correct set of instructions for each employee based on their reference date: either 19 March 2020, 30 October 2020 or 2 March 2021.
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 (before the reductions applying to claim periods from 1 July 2021).
- 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.
- February 2021: £89.29.
- March 2021: £80.65.
- April 2021: £83.34.
- May 2021: £80.65.
- June 2021: £83.34.
- July 2021: £80.65.
- August 2021: £80.65.
- September 2021: £83.34.
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.
HMRC have included detailed step-by-step instructions on calculating 80% of an employee's usual wage in their guidance at Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
It is important to follow the correct set of instructions for each employee based on their reference date: either 19 March 2020, 30 October 2020 or 2 March 2021.
HMRC have provided a number of example calculations.
On 4 February 2021:
- HMRC have included an example to show how the CJRS interacts with pension contributions.
- Where employees make pension contributions under net pay arrangements, the full amount of their earnings, including the amount they contribute to their pension, should be included in the CJRS calculation.
- Where employees enter into a salary sacrifice arrangement, reducing their pay in lieu of employer pension contributions, it is the lower, adjusted, pay which is included in the CJRS calculation.
Letter to an employee for use from 1 November 2020
[Employer name if not on headed paper]
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.
- 30 September 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 XX 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]****.
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.
HMRC lists the following as areas where employers may make errors:
- Did you re-employ any staff you had previously let go?
- Did you use the calculator on gov.uk?
- Is the claim period entered the same as the period used for the calculation?
- Did you restrict your claim to 80% of employees’ usual pay?
- Did you top up above the 80% that you can claim? If so, have you claimed for the top-up amount?
- Do you have a mixture of weekly and monthly paid employees? If so, how have you accounted for this?
- How did you determine what each employee’s usual pay was? You should only calculate the usual pay based on pay figures up to 19 March.
- Have you taken account of a pay rise which only took effect after 19 March? You should only calculate the usual pay based on pay figures up to 19 March.
- If the claim period is for July or later, have you flexibly furloughed any employees? If so, how did you calculate their usual hours?
- Have you included any non-contractual bonuses?
- Was the grant distributed correctly and on time?
- Was an overclaim offset against a further claim?
- Were additional ineligible staff included in the claim?
- Have any adjustments to earlier years been made?
- Have you claimed NI contribution and also claimed Employer National Insurance Allowance?
- 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.
You can return to a claim via the government gateway. Claims can only be deleted within 72 hours. The last date to claim was 14 October 2021 therefore the window for deleting claims is now closed.
Offsetting over and under claims
- When working out the value of any overclaim for a claim period, employers can include all employees in that claim period.
- This means that an overclaim in respect of one employee can be offset against any underclaim(s) in respect of other employees in that same claim period.
- Any balancing overclaim amounts must be repaid to HMRC.
Employees not paid enough
When on furlough, and a CJRS grant claimed, employees should have been paid the lower of:
- 80% of normal wages
for unworked hours.
Where employees have not been paid enough, employers should either:
- Top up employees wages to the correct level.
- Repay the grant received.
Wages must be topped-up within a ‘reasonable period’. This is usually no later than the relevant tax return filing deadline:
- Income Tax: 31 January 2022 for 2020-21 tax year payments or 31 January 2023 for 2021-22 tax year payments.
- Corporation Tax: 12 months following the end of the accounting period.
In exceptional circumstances, HMRC may decide on a longer or shorter period.
- Where errors are identified close to a filing date, any underpayment must be made good by the second payment period following the filing date.
- Where reasonable provisional figures have been included in a return, HMRC will allow additional time to make up the wage shortfall.
Tax return boxes (companies)
Coronavirus support payments should be included when calculating taxable profits in the usual way, in line with the relevant accounting standards.
- Filing software should tag grants automatically.
There are additional CT600 reporting requirements for CJRS grants:
Payments received during the accounting period of the return need to be declared in box 471 of form CT600.
The figure included on the return should not include deductions for:
- Amounts disclosed as overpayments.
- Amounts already assessed by HMRC.
- Amounts received and repaid voluntarily.
The figure should be adjusted to add back:
- Overpayments of amounts received in an earlier period that have been offset against CJRS payments received in the current accounting period.
The CJRS entitlement should be returned in box 472 of form CT600 as follows:
- Payments the company is entitled to for the accounting period need to be declared.
- Failing to complete the appropriate box will result in the CJRS received being treated as an overpayment.
- The entitlement figure declared should include any amounts received that the company was entitled to which it has voluntarily repaid.
CJRS overpayments already assessed or voluntarily disclosed
Finally, a declaration in box 473 of CT600 is required for CJRS payments received in the accounting period which at the time of completing the return:
- Have already been assessed by HMRC irrespective of whether the assessment has been paid.
- Have been disclosed voluntarily to HMRC as CJRS overpayments irrespective of whether the amounts have been paid, or
- Are overpayments which have been offset against subsequent CJRS payments.
The following amounts should not be included here:
- Amounts received that the company was entitled to but which were repaid voluntarily, or
- Overpayments chargeable in the accounting period that are yet to be disclosed or assessed by HMRC when the return is completed.
Requirement to amend some returns
The boxes described above were added to the CT600 on 6 April 2021.
- Where a business received a CJRS grant and their return was either filed before 6 April 2021 or after that date but without completing the relevant boxes, their return may need to be amended.
- An amended return is required if:
- The company did not declare all their Coronavirus grants and payments as taxable income.
- The company still has overpayments due from those grants.
- There is no need to amend the return if the company's Coronavirus support overpayments:
- Were already repaid.
- Have already been assessed before the tax return was filed, and there is no overpayment remaining due for payment.