Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme rules updated

7th January 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021.

A business can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

For periods from 1 November onwards, you can claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as you 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 that employee.

All employers with a UK, Isle of Man or Channel Island bank account and a UK PAYE scheme can claim the grant. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim for periods from 1 November 2020.

You can claim for employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed. Grants under the scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can furlough employees on all categories of visa.

If your employee is on a fixed term contract

If the employee’s fixed term contract has not already expired, it can be extended or renewed. You can put the employee on furlough as long as they were employed by you on or before 30 October 2020. You 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 that employee.

If your employee’s fixed term contract expired on or after 23 September 2020, they can be re-employed and claimed for. This applies as long as your employee was employed by you on 23 September 2020 and you made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.

If you employ apprentices

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst on furlough.  

However, you must pay your Apprentices at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage/National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage as appropriate for all the time they spend training. This means that for time spent training you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.

If you’ve consolidated your payroll and have new employees on it

Where a group of companies have multiple PAYE schemes and there is a transfer of all employees from these schemes into a new consolidated PAYE scheme, the new scheme will be eligible to continue to furlough and claim for employees.

Employee transfers under TUPE and on a change in ownership

A new employer is eligible to claim in respect of the employees of a previous business transferred if the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership.

The employees being claimed for should have been:

  • transferred from their old employer to their new employer on or after 1 September 2020
  • employed by either their old employer or new employer on 30 October 2020
  • on a PAYE Real Time Information submission to HMRC, by their old or new employer between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.

Further guidance on the furlough scheme is available on the HMRC website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?utm_source=7e4fd844-191b-46fd-beb7-8b95c5274233&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily

If you wish to speak to a member of our team regarding the furlough scheme or any other area of Covid-19 support please contact our team on 020 7330 0000.