The coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) update

The CJRS has now been extended for a further month to the end of June. The scheme was originally open for three months and backdated from 1 March to the end of May. The scheme will be kept under review and will be extended again if necessary.

The scheme has now also been opened to more workers as employees are now eligible to receive money under the scheme if they were on a small firm’s payroll on March 19; the previous cut-off being set for February 28. For this to apply the employee must have been included on an RTI submission to HRMC on or before March 19 and not simply employed before this date.

Company directors are now eligible to furlough themselves through the scheme. The scheme is only available to permanent employees so executive directors would likely qualify but non-executive directors would not.

Furloughed employees must not perform any work for the employing business so few directors can meet these requirements to remain inactive.
Directors paid a nominal salary but receiving the bulk of their reward through dividends would only receive 80% of the nominal salary (if they qualify). Payment by dividends is not supported by the scheme.

General information about the scheme

• To be eligible for CJRS the employer and employee must agree that they are a ‘furloughed worker’
• Employees must be notified that they have been furloughed
• Employees must be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks
• The employer cannot do any work for the employer that has furloughed them
• You can claim 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per furloughed employee
• A separate claim is needed for each PAYE scheme
• Claims can only be made for furloughed employees that were on your last RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020
• You must have a UK bank account

Any of our clients who use our payroll services should get in touch with for details and assistance on processing.

We have included a step-by-step guide using government guidance on how to apply for the scheme: Coronavirus job retention scheme: step by step guide for claiming.