Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
Friday 27th March 2020
HMRC has published further details of the Government’s CJRS, under which employers can temporarily lay employees off (furlough) and be reimbursed for certain salary costs.
Key points include:
- Open to any UK employer with a PAYE scheme on 28 February 2020, for employees on its payroll at that date (not after);
- Those on sick leave already or in self-isolation cannot be furloughed until they are fit to return, unless they are shielding;
- Furlough would need to be agreed in the absence of any express contractual power to lay-off;
- Normal principles apply when selecting who to furlough, in that you cannot discriminate, however, the needs of any vulnerable staff should be considered;
- Furlough must be for a minimum of 3 week blocks and no work can be undertaken for the employer during the furlough;
- Employees made redundant since 28 February 2020 can be rehired and furloughed;
- Employers can reclaim up to 80% of salary, to a cap of £2,500 per month, plus employer National Insurance Contributions and their minimum pension contribution under auto enrolment;
- Employer can top salary up, but does not have to;
- Furlough agreements should be used to record the arrangement;
- Employers reclaim payment from HMRC every 3 weeks and can be backdated to 1 March 2020 for staff already furloughed;
- Scheme expected to go live by the end of April, will initially run for March, April and May.
The guidance is available here:
All information in this update is intended for general guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive, or to provide legal advice.