HMRC have issued a reminder as to what can be claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in light of the upcoming holiday season.

Claims to cover the wages of furloughed staff can only be made when the furlough is as a result of COVID-19 affecting the business. 

Businesses which are normally less busy over the christmas period or close for the holidays will not be able to furlough staff and make a claim. HMRC guidance specifically states that employees may not be furloughed simply because:

  • They will be taking paid leave.
  • The claimant usually does less business over the festive period. 

The guidance also includes a reminder that staff on annual leave should be paid at their normal rate of pay under the Working Time Regulations (WTR). Where this is more than the amount claimed under CJRS, the employer must make up the difference.

Useful guides on this topic

COVID-19: CJRS from 1 November 2020 
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS): a cash grant payable to employers up to 31 March 2021.  Who can claim? What costs can be claimed? What are the deadlines for claiming?

External links

HMRC guidance: Check if you can claim for employees wages through CJRS

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HMRC also stated that Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough. If they are flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.

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