Changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 18th December
The UK Government has reviewed the terms of the scheme, and announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain at the current level of 80% of usual wages for the hours not worked, and will be extended until the end of April 2021.
Are there are any changes since Brentwood and Ongar was placed in Tier 4?
Under Tier 4 / Level 4 restrictions, people are being asked to stay at home unless they cannot work from home, and more businesses are now required to close.
HMRC is reminding employers that support is available through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
If employers cannot maintain their workforce because their business has been affected by coronavirus COVID-19, they may be able to furlough employees and claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Employers and employees do not need to have benefited from the scheme before to make a claim, if they meet the eligibility criteria. Employers can check if they can claim for their employee’s wages on GOV.UK.
It’s very important that any business that decides to use CJRS for December, submits their claim by 14 January 2021. If employers have already submitted their claim for December, but now need to make a change because Tier 4 restrictions mean they didn’t claim enough, they can increase the amount of their claim for December up until Thursday 28 January. Further details for this can be found on GOV.UK.
Our phone lines and webchat remain very busy, so where possible businesses should wait until after the 29th of December to do this. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need to amend their November claims by the 29 December deadline.
We are running webinars to help explain to businesses how to claim for CJRS, including several before the next 14 January deadline. This webinar gives an overview of:
- the extension of the scheme
- how employers will be affected
- flexible furloughing
- key dates
- support available
Businesses can register for one of these webinars on GOV.UK
Self-employed individuals, or members of partnerships may be eligible to make a claim under the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.
To make a claim, a business must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021, which they reasonably believe will have a significant reduction in profits. Businesses must also have traded in both tax years 2019 to 2020, and 2018 to 2019.People can check whether they might be eligible for SEISS on GOV.UK
People can check how trading conditions affect their eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme on GOV.UK
As with CJRS, we are offering webinars which explain to people how to apply for SEISS. These are available on GOV.UK
Welsh language SEISS guidance is also available on GOV.UK
A full list of UK government support is available on GOV.UK.
Employers in Brentwood and Ongar
Reminder of monthly deadlines
We’d like to thank employers for submitting their November furlough claim by the deadline of 14 December.
Please note that reasonable excuses do not apply to late claims for periods before November, which should have been submitted already.
What employers in your constituency need to do now
- If they haven’t submitted their claim for November but still need to, they must check if they have a reasonable excuse – if their reason means they can claim late, they should do so as soon as they’re able to.
- Check they have not made any errors on their November claims, by looking at the eligibility criteria and calculating how much they can claim on GOV.UK.
- Submit any claims for December no later than 14 January.
- Keep any records that support the amount of CJRS grants they claim, in case HMRC needs to check them.
What if employers in your constituency claimed too much in error?
If employers in your constituency have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, they must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
- 90 days from receiving the CJRS money they’re not entitled to
- 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that they were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.
Employers in your constituency can repay as part of their next online claim without needing to call us. If they claimed too much but do not plan to submit further claims, they can let us know and make a repayment online through our card payment service or by bank transfer on GOV.UK.
What if employers in your constituency haven’t claimed enough?
If employers in your constituency made a mistake in their claim that means they received too little money, they’ll need to amend it by Tuesday 29 December.
Can employers in your constituency use CJRS grants to pay for holiday leave?
If employers in your constituency have furloughed employees because of the effect of coronavirus on their business, they can claim under the CJRS for periods of paid leave their employees take while on furlough, including for bank holidays such as Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
If their employee is flexibly furloughed, they can count any time taken as holiday as furloughed hours rather than working hours. This means they can claim 80% of their usual wages for these hours. Employers in your constituency should not place employees on furlough just because they are going to be on paid leave.
Can employers in your constituency include a Christmas bonus in their calculation for the grant?
Employers in your constituency can claim for regular payments that they are contractually obliged to pay their employees, including compulsory commission, fees and overtime. However, they cannot claim for discretionary commission, non-contractual bonuses (including tips) and non-cash payments. More information is available on GOV.UK.