Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Update

The updated Government guidance covering the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) was published on 10 November. This was followed by the publication of the 4th Treasury Direction to HMRC late last Friday evening (13 November), which provides the legal framework behind it.

This confirmed some important further changes to the CJRS going forward which employers should be aware of, and which we set out below:

  • Claims must not be made for any day where employees are serving statutory or contractual notice between 1 December 2020 and 31 January 2021.
  • If an employer makes a claim under the CJRS covering a period from 1 December 2020 onwards, they will be accepting that HMRC will publish information about CJRS claims online. The information published will include an employer’s name, any relevant reference number, and an amount which gives a ‘reasonable indication’ of the amount they have claimed. A publication may be withheld if this would cause ‘serious risk of violence or intimidation’.
  • Employers must have furlough agreements in place, and these must be made before the beginning of a period to which a claim relates. However, these can be subsequently varied during the claim period. Employers can use previous agreements, as long as these are updated before the period of furlough leave within the extension period starts. There was an initial period allowed for agreements to be put in place with retrospective effect, going back to 1 November 2020, but this period expired on 13 November 2020.

The full Treasury Direction can be found at here.

If you would like any assistance in preparing a furlough agreement, or have any questions in relation to this content or another employment law issue, please feel free to contact a member of the Employment Team.

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