Covid-19 – Latest changes on the CJRS and SEISS support
The CJRS has been extended until the end of March 2021 – all you need to know.
The previously announced Job Support Scheme that was due to replace the CJRS (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) has now been withdrawn and CJRS has been extended until the end of March 2021.
This will be accessible by employers putting staff on furlough in any part of the UK. Crucially, it will be available for employers and employees who have not previously used the furlough scheme in its earlier versions.
Under the extended CJRS, for claim periods running to 31 January 2021, the UK government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The UK government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
It is important to note that employers and their employees do not need to have used the scheme before to claim for periods from 1 November.
The claim portal for the extended CJRS will be opened on 11 November 2020. A change is that there are now monthly deadlines for claims. Claims for periods on/after 1 November must be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, unless this falls on a weekend, in which case the deadline is the next weekday – submit any claims for periods from 1 November before no later than 14 December.
HMRC intends to publish details of employers who use the scheme for claim periods from December, and employees will be able to find out if their employer has claimed for them under the scheme.
CJRS claims for periods up to 31 October need to be submitted on or before 30 November. Claims for periods up to 31 October will not be accepted after 30 November.
At the same time, it was also confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) will no longer be paid in February 2021, as CJRS will be available at that time. An alternative retention incentive will be put in place at the appropriate time.
Claims under the first and second tranches of the SEISS scheme are now closed.
The good news is that the government has also announced an extension to this scheme, to keep in line with the extension of the CJRS, from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021.
A third tranche of the grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. The UK government will pay a taxable grant which is based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500. This is a welcome increase in the overall level of the next SEISS grant from 55% of trading profits, as was announced earlier.
A further (fourth) tranche of the grant will cover the period from February to April. The government will set out further details, including the level of that grant, in due course.
Full details on eligibility and the claims process will be published on GOV.UK around 23 November.
In the meantime, while practitioners will not be directly involved in making the SEISS claims for their clients, they should communicate details about the availability of further grants to their self-employed clients as soon as possible.