HMRC launched its online claim service and portal for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 20th April 2020 and the online portal was updated on 11th November to allow new claims on the extended CJRS. Employers can continue to make existing claims or make new claims for employees who have previously been furloughed if they are eligible.
In advance of the March 2021 Budget, the Chancellor announced the extension of the furlough scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or ‘CJRS’) until the end of September 2021. Workers will continue to receive 80% of their current salary for hours they do not work due to furlough. This will be provided by a grant to their employers.
Employers will need to make a contribution of 10% of the worker’s salary for unworked hours in July 2021, and a 20% contribution in August and September 2021. The £2,500 monthly limit for the grant remains in place.
You can use our guide to help you make a claim using the government’s online portal.
The latest news on the CJRS
On 31st October 2020 as a result of the ongoing pandemic, the government announced that the CJRS furlough scheme was being extended for six months and will remain open until 31st March 2021, on 17th December the scheme was extended for a further month to 30th April 2021 at the 80% level, then in the Budget on 3rd March 2021, the scheme was extended again to the end of September 2021.
The extended scheme is available throughout the UK and is open to new entrants who have not previously claimed. Existing claimants can also continue to claim under the extended scheme.
Businesses will have the flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full-time or part-time.
From 1st May 2021, employees who could not previously claim CJRS from 1st November 2020, but were reported on a Full Payment Submission by their employers by 2nd March 2021, are now eligible to claim. This means a claim can be made for the first time for any period from 1st May 2021 onwards.
For claim periods running to the end of June 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. There is no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will continue to pay employer’s National Insurance Contributions (NIC) and any minimum pension auto-enrolment contributions for the hours the employee does not work.
From July 2021, employers will be required to contribute towards the worker’s salary, with a 10% contribution in July 2021, and 20% in August and September.
The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked. This means that the previously announced switch to the Job Support Scheme will be postponed until the extended CJRS is closed. Further details on the changes from July 2021 will be updated in this article, once available.
Background to the extended CJRS scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) allows UK employers to furlough employees and apply for a grant from the government covering up to 80% of the affected employees’ usual monthly wage costs up to a maximum of £2,500 (per month).
The latest extension to the scheme was announced in March 2021, but the original scheme was launched back in March 2020.
Latest changes to CJRS
Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which will continue until September 2021.
The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the outgoing CJRS in August 2020, so for claim periods running to the end of September 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked. The government will pay the salary for employees, and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.
The government announced at the March 2021 Budget that employers will need to contribute 10% towards the payment in July 2021, and 20% towards the payment in August and September. Employers will continue to be asked to pay employer’s National Insurance Contributions (NIC) and any minimum pension auto-enrolment contributions for the hours the employee does not work.
Further details, including how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, are detailed below. You must make a claim each month for all employees you are furloughing (see later in this article for how to claim).
The extended CJRS will operate as the outgoing scheme, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs.
Businesses have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for about 5% of total employment costs.
For periods starting on or after 1st May 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 2nd March 2021, as long as you have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20th March 2020 and 2nd March 2021, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 2nd March 2021 to claim for periods starting on or after 1st May 2021.
Employees that were employed and on a company payroll on 23rd September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for under the extended CJRS. To be eligible the employer must have made an RTI submission to HMRC from 20th March 2020 to 23rd September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
The extended CJRS will continue to run until the end of September 2021. The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on 1st November 2020, has been postponed and it is not clear if it will be implemented at all.
Closure of previous CJRS scheme – last date for claims was 30th November 2020
The government announced that the last day for making or amending any existing claims under the previous version of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was 30th November 2020. This covered claims for the period 30th June to 31st October 2020. Any claims for the period from 1st November 2020 will be made under the extended CJRS rules.
Job Support Scheme postponed
On 24th September 2020, the government announced a new Job Support Scheme (JSS) to replace the outgoing Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). As a result of the ongoing pandemic, the new JSS scheme will now not be introduced until the extended CJRS closes (currently not before 30th September 2021).
The JSS scheme when it comes in will not be a direct replacement for the CJRS. Employers will continue to pay an employee for time worked, but the costs of hours not worked will be split between the employer and the government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction). Importantly, the employee will keep their job.
Crunch has prepared a guide with more information about the proposed Job Support Scheme, who is eligible and with worked examples of the financial impact on employers and employees.
Job Retention Bonus – one-off payment of £1,000 is now suspended
The government had previously announced that there would be a £1,000 Job Retention Bonus available to employers in February 2021. This scheme has now been suspended due to the extension of the CJRS. The government has said they will not pay the Job Retention Bonus in February 2021 but instead redeploy a retention incentive at the right time.
The original plan was that employers would be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee they have previously received a grant for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and who remains continuously employed until 31st January 2021.
What you need to do now
If you intended to claim the Job Retention Bonus, you’ll need to wait to hear whether it will be reintroduced at a later date. You should continue to ensure that you:
- ensure all employee records are up to date
- accurately report employees’ details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the Real-Time Information (RTI) reporting system
- make sure all of your CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and you have told HMRC about any changes needed (for example if you’ve received too much or too little).
Who can claim the extended CJRS
The government has said: “If you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough.”
Under the extended CJRS rules any UK employer can claim, but they must have:
- created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 30th October 2020
- enrolled for PAYE online
- a UK bank account.
- HMRC’s online portal opened to accept claims on Wednesday 11th November.
- Claims made for November 2020 must be submitted to HMRC by no later than 14th December 2020.
- Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month, to ensure prompt claims following the end of the month which is the subject of the claim (or the nearest working day after the 14th where the 14th is a weekend or bank holiday).
Who is eligible for the extended CJRS scheme?
If you’re claiming for a period that starts on or after 1st November 2020, then you can only claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on payroll on 30th October 2020. This means you must have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. This may differ where you have re-employed an employee after 23rd September 2020.
Claims can be made by employers across the UK that meet the eligibility criteria. All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.
To be eligible for CJRS an employer must agree with the employee that they are a ‘furloughed worker’. In addition:
- Employees must be notified that they have been furloughed and the employer must keep a written record of the agreement for five years
- Employers must keep records of how many hours their employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (not working)
- The minimum period of furlough is 7 consecutive days
- Employers can choose to fully furlough employees or flexibly furlough them, you can agree any amount of hours and any work pattern see more on ‘flexible furloughing’.
- Employees must not do any work for the employer that has furloughed them during hours when they are furloughed.
- If you previously met the eligibility criteria of the original CJRS, then you will be automatically eligible for the extended CJRS
- If you were not eligible under the original scheme but have processed payroll (RTI filed with HMRC) between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020, then you will be eligible for the extended CJRS
We have a template letter (Word doc 8Kb) that can be used to send to all employees who are being furloughed along with a template that can be used for a Board meeting minutes (Word doc 8Kb) confirming the decision to furlough directors and/or employees.
Which employees can be claimed for under extended CJRS?
To be eligible to claim under the extended CJRS, employees must have been on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real-Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
The government has also confirmed the following:
- Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree to any working arrangements with employees
- Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS
- When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days
- Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period
- For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.
Furloughed employees can:
- take part in training
- volunteer for another employer or organisation
- work for another employer (if contractually allowed)
HMRC will check claims. Payments may be withheld or need to be paid back if a claim is found to be fraudulent or based on incorrect information. You can report suspected fraud in the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants are not classed as state aid.
HMRC has also confirmed that from February 2021 in order to deter fraudulent claims, they will publish information about employers who claim for periods starting on or after 1st December 2020.
The following information will be published on GOV.UK:
- the employer name
- an indication of the value of the claim within a banded range
- the company number for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)
HMRC will also be improving the information available to furloughed employees by including details of claims made for them, for claim periods starting on or after 1st December 2020 in their Personal Tax Account on GOV.UK.
You can apply to HMRC to request that they do not publish details of your employers claiming through the scheme if you can show that publicising these would result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to certain relevant individuals, or any individual living with them.
Part-time or flexible furloughing
Businesses using the scheme can decide to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time – with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of the normal hours not worked.
Any working hours arrangement agreed between a business and their employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, they will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.
Employers can make claims for longer periods such as monthly or two weekly cycles if preferred. Employers will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.
If employees are unable to return to work, or employers do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and the employer can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.
Directors of personal service companies can claim for PAYE costs if furloughed
If you are a director of a limited company, even if you are the sole director of the company (ie. a personal service company) you can claim your PAYE salary costs up to the maximum of 80% of your average monthly wages (capped at £2,500 per month).
You cannot claim for any income from your company taken by way of dividends.
Your company will need to record its decision to place a director on furlough leave – this can be part-time or flexible furlough. The director may take on another job or alternative work (as a sole trader for instance) unrelated to your business.
We have a template letter (Word doc 8Kb) that can be used to send to all employees who are being furloughed along with a template that can be used for a Board meeting minutes (Word doc 8Kb) confirming the decision to furlough directors and/or employees.
If you’re a Crunch limited company client and you decide to furlough yourself (or another director), you should process your Directors salary and submit your RTI via your Crunch App for your salary in the usual way. Our guidance on the tax-efficient salary for a Director in the 2020/21 tax year is up to the National Insurance secondary threshold of £732.33 per month (£8,788 per annum). Please see below (Accounting for the reduced payroll expenses in your Crunch account if you are a sole director/sole employee) on how to update your Crunch account if you decide to reduce your salary amount.
Under the outgoing CJRS scheme, you had to calculate your CJRS claim based on the last salary amount you filed with HMRC before 19th March 2020. For a director taking a tax-efficient salary in the 2019/20 tax year, this would usually mean £719 per month. You could not claim based on the higher tax-efficient salary amount for the 2020/21 tax year (£732 per month) you may have chosen to pay yourself after 6th April 2020.
Continuing claims for directors
If the director/employee was previously furloughed at any point between April and 31st October 2020, you should calculate the 80% amount based on the salary reported for previous CJRS claims. This usually means the average monthly salary during the 2019/20 tax year or the actual salary filed in an RTI submission before 19th March 2020.
New claims for directors
If the director/employee was not furloughed at any point between April and 31st October 2020 or did not submit any claims or qualify for CJRS, then the employee’s claim will be calculated based on their last pay period ending on or before 30th Oct 2020 and filed in an RTI submission before that date. These employees will only be eligible for periods starting on or after 1st November 2020.
Fixed salary claims for directors
If the director/employee has not filed a fixed monthly salary in the 2020/21 tax year to date, then the employer should base the calculation on 80% of average monthly salary from 6th April 2020 to the day their furlough started. Alternatively, the calculation can be made based on the gross salary paid during the same month of the 2019/20 tax year. This means the gross salary for the purpose of the claim for November 2020, will be based on the gross salary from November 2019.
Flexible furlough for directors
For flexible furlough, the claim is based on the “usual” hours worked on or before 19th March 2020 if previously furloughed. However, if flexible furlough started after 1st November 2020, the calculation is made based on the usual hours worked from 6th April 2020 and up to the employee’s first day of furlough on or after 1st November 2020.
Paying employee taxes and pension contributions
Your employees will still pay the taxes under PAYE arrangements.
Employers must deduct and pay HMRC Income Tax and employee National Insurance contributions on the full amount paid, including any CJRS scheme grant for the employee.
Employers must also pay HMRC the employer National Insurance contributions on the full amount that you pay the employee, including any CJRS grant.
Employers must report these payments via a Full Payment Submission (FPS) to HMRC on or before the pay date.
The employer will also still pay pension contributions (both employer and automatic contributions from the employee) unless the employee has opted out or stopped saving into their pension. Since 1st August 2020 employers are not able to claim for employer NICs and pension contributions.
Maximum number of employees you can claim for
There is no maximum number of employees you can claim for under the extended CJRS from 1st November 2020.
How much can you claim on extended CJRS?
Claims are made using HMRC online portal. Before you make a claim you need to calculate how much to claim for each employee and the total amount you wish to claim for the claim period.
As with the outgoing CJRS, employers can choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
For hours not worked by the employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions and should continue to pay the employee for any hours worked in the normal way.
Payments will be made six working days after you make your claim.
Before you can calculate how much you can claim from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme you’ll need to work out your employees’ wages. To do this you must work out:
- the length of your claim period
- what you can include when calculating wages
- your employees’ usual hours and furloughed hours.
Calculating the length of your claim period
A claim period is the total number of days you are claiming a grant for. If you’re making a new claim on CJRS then your claim period starts on the date your first employee was furloughed.
Claim periods must:
- Start and end in the same calendar month
- Last for at least 7 consecutive days (unless you are claiming for the first few days or the last few days in a month)
- Match the dates you usually process your payroll if possible.
- Be made by the claim deadline for the period (usually by the 14th day of the following month)
Claim periods cannot overlap and you can only make one claim for any period so you must include all your furloughed or flexibly furloughed employees in one claim even if you pay them at different times. If you make more than one claim, your subsequent claim cannot overlap with any other claim that you make. Where employees have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed continuously (or both), the claim periods must follow on from each other with no gaps in between the dates.
What to include when calculating wages
If you’ve already claimed for an employee who was on furlough during October 2020 or earlier, and they are paid a fixed salary, you will follow the same usual wage calculation for claim periods from 1st November 2020.
The amount you should use when calculating 80% of your employees’ wages for hours not worked, is made up of the regular payments you are obliged to make, including:
- regular wages you paid to employees
- non-discretionary payments for hours worked, including overtime
- non-discretionary fees
- non-discretionary commission payments
- piece rate payments
You cannot include the following when calculating wages:
- payments made at the discretion of the employer or a client – where the employer or client was under no contractual obligation to pay, including any tips, including those distributed through troncs, discretionary bonuses, discretionary commission payments
- non-cash payments
- non-monetary benefits like benefits in kind (such as a company car) and benefits received under salary sacrifice schemes (including pension contributions) that reduce an employee’s taxable pay.
Employers must make sure that all of the grant received to cover an employee’s subsidised furlough pay is paid to the employee in the form of money. No part of the grant should be netted off to pay for the provision of benefits or a salary sacrifice scheme.
You can include non-discretionary overtime payments when calculating 80% of an employee’s wage.
Employers will need to continue to pay an Apprenticeship Levy as usual. Employers will also need to continue to make Student Loan deductions if these are due for any employee.
Calculating your employee’s usual hours and furloughed hours
If your employee is fully furloughed, you do not need to work out their usual and furloughed hours and you should work out the maximum wage amount.
If your employee is flexibly furloughed you’ll need to calculate the usual hours they work as well as record the actual hours they work and their furloughed hours for each claim period.
HMRC has published full details on how to calculate your employees usual hours, there are different calculations depending on whether they work fixed or variable hours.
HMRC has published full details on the steps to take before calculating your claim.
Calculating the number of working and furloughed hours for each employee
You will have agreed how many hours your flexibly furloughed employee is going to work in the claim period. They will be furloughed for the rest of their usual hours.
To calculate the number of furloughed hours:
- Start with your employee’s usual hours.
- Subtract the number of hours they actually worked in the claim period – even if this is different to what you agreed.
If you claim in advance and your employee works for more hours than you agreed, then you’ll have to pay some of the grant back to HMRC. This means that you should not claim until you have certainty about the number of hours your employees are working during the claim period. If you make an error in your claim, you can find out how to correct it.
You must pay the employee their contractually agreed rate for any hours they work. Check the latest National Minimum Wage rates.
Calculating your claim on CJRS
For claim periods from 1st November 2020 onwards, the extended CJRS rules apply.
For the extended CJRS from 1st November 2020 to 30th June 2021, the government will pay 80% of employee’s wages capped at £2,500 per month. Employers will need to pay for employer National Insurance contributions and employer pension contributions.
From 1st July employers will be asked to contribute 10% towards hours not worked, and for August and September 2021, they will be asked to contribute 20% towards hours not worked. They will still need to make employers National Insurance Contributions and any auto-enrolment pension contributions.
As a reminder, the following table shows the CJRS grant contributions from July 2020 and going forwards:
Employers can choose to top up their employees’ wages, but they do not have to. Employees must not work or provide any services for the business during hours which they are recorded as being on furlough, even if they receive a top-up wage.
When making your claim, you cannot claim for:
- any additional National Insurance or pension contributions you make because you choose to top up your employee’s wages
- your employees’ wages for any time they spend working, or any National Insurance or pension contributions you make on these wages
- any pension contributions you make that are above the mandatory employer contribution.
You must keep a copy of all records for 6 years, including:
- the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
- the claim reference number for your records
- your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
- usual hours worked, including any calculations that were required, for employees you flexibly furloughed
- actual hours worked for employees you flexibly furloughed
HMRC has provided a calculator to help you work out how much you can claim for each employee. The calculator can be used for most employees who are paid either regular or variable amounts each pay period (for example, weekly or monthly).
The calculator cannot be used if employees:
- returned from family-related statutory leave (maternity leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave, parental bereavement leave)
- get director’s payments
- have been transferred under TUPE
- have been employed at separate times throughout the year
- receive employer pension contributions outside of an auto-enrolment pension scheme
- have an annual pay period
If any of these exemptions apply you will need to use HMRC’s detailed instructions on how to calculate your claim, or speak to your accountant for help. Crunch offer a claim service for their clients. If you’re a Crunch client please speak to your client managers for more information on the service.
If you’re claiming for an employee who is flexibly furloughed, you will need to work out their usual hours before you use the calculator.
You can access HMRC’s CJRS calculator here.
Making a claim on CJRS
Once you’ve calculated how much you can claim as an employer you’re ready to make a claim using the HMRC online portal.
You can view step-by-step screenshots of an actual claim in our step-by-step CJRS walkthrough
The online service lets you make claims for your employees’ wages. You’re only allowed to make one claim in any claim period so you must ensure you’ve correctly calculated your claim for all employees you wish to claim for in the claim period.
You’re able to start a claim then save it to complete within seven days of starting it. You can also delete a claim within 72 hours of submitting it.
You cannot make more than one claim during a claim period – HMRC recommend that you make your claim shortly before or at the time of running your company payroll each month. You must claim for all employees in each period at the same time as you cannot make changes to a submitted claim.
HMRC has published a step by step guide we have used as part of this guide. We have also gone through the process of submitting a claim and have screenshots from the process available in our CJRS Walkthrough guide (pdf download).
The service is simple to use and any support you need is available on GOV.UK – this includes help with calculating the amount you can claim (see the links above).
Information you need to make a claim on extended CJRS
To claim, you will need the following information to hand – we recommend you assemble this information before starting a claim.
You will also need to have calculated the full amount that you’re claiming for in the claim period.
You should make a claim each month.
HMRC says you must retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims for six years in case HMRC has any questions about your claim.
If you’re claiming for employees that are flexibly furloughed, you’ll also need:
- the number of usual hours your employee would usually work in the claim period
- the number of hours your employee has or will work in the claim period
- you will also need to keep a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period
Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect.
If you’re putting 100 or more employees on furlough for claim periods starting on or after 1 July, you can download a template from HMRC if you’re claiming for 100 or more employees and upload this when you claim.
Using this template will help ensure your claim is processed quickly and successfully. Your template may be rejected if you do not give the information in the right format.
Deadlines for making claims
All claims for periods from 1st July 2020 to 31st October 2020 must have been submitted no later than 30th November 2020.
Claims from 1st November 2020 must be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend then claims should be submitted on the next working day.
Backdated claims cannot be submitted.
If you’ve claimed the wrong amount
HMRC has published full details on what to do if you claim the wrong amount under the CJRS.
Find out what to do if you’ve claimed too much from the scheme.
Find out what to do if you’ve not claimed enough from the scheme.
If you have claimed too much CJRS in error
It’s important that you continue to check each claim is accurate before submitting it, and we would also recommend checking previous claims to avoid any penalties for claiming too much.
If your company has claimed too much CJRS grant and you have not repaid it, you must notify HMRC immediately and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
- 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you or your client are not entitled to
- 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you or your client were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.
You may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest, go to ‘Interest rates for late and early payments’ on GOV.UK.
How to let HMRC know if you have claimed too much
You can let HMRC know as part of your next online claim without needing to call – the system will prompt you to add details if you have received too much. If you have claimed too much and do not plan to submit further claims, you can let HMRC know and find out how to make a repayment online. Go to ‘Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back‘ on GOV.UK.
HMRC understands mistakes happen, particularly in these challenging times, and will not seek out innocent errors and small mistakes for compliance action.
Reporting employees’ wages to HMRC when you’ve claimed
If you’ve claimed a grant through CJRS, you should check if you need to report payments on the PAYE Real Time Information system, as this will depend on whether you are using the grant to:
- pay wages
- reimburse wages that you’ve already paid.
Can I use CJRS grants to pay for holiday leave?
If employers have furloughed employees because of the effect of coronavirus on their business, they can claim under the CJRS for periods of paid leave they take while on furlough, including for bank holidays such as Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
If an employee is flexibly furloughed, you can count any time taken as holiday as furloughed hours rather than working hours. This means you can claim 80% of their usual wages for these hours. Employers should not place employees on furlough just because they are going to be on paid leave.
If a furloughed employee takes holiday, their employer should top up their pay to their normal rate in line with the Working Time Regulations. For more information search ‘check if you can claim for your employees’ wages’ on GOV.UK.
Can I include a Christmas bonus in my calculation for the grant?
You or your clients can claim for regular payments that you are contractually obliged to pay your employees, including compulsory commission, fees and overtime. However, you or your clients cannot claim for discretionary commission, non-contractual bonuses (including tips) and non-cash payments. For more information search ‘steps to take before calculating your claim’ on GOV.UK.
Accounting for the income your company receives from the scheme in your Crunch account
The income your company receives under the scheme is a grant from the government and must be used to offset the costs of placing employees on furlough leave. The amount of grant income received must be included in the company’s accounts for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes. Crunch accountants will check this when we prepare your company’s annual accounts.
For this amount to be included as part of the profit calculations on your Crunch account you will need to record this income as interest received from the banking tab. This will ensure you can accurately calculate the amount of dividends available for your company to distribute. Crunch accountants will then reassign the income to an appropriate income ledger when we prepare your company’s annual accounts.
Accounting for the reduced payroll expenses in your Crunch account if you are a sole director/sole employee
If you are the only person employed by your company (usually a sole director) and have set up a recurring payroll in your Crunch account, and you decide to keep paying yourself the same salary, you do not need to adjust the recurring payroll in your Crunch account.
If you decide to reduce your salary to the amount of grant paid by HMRC, you should take the following action to amend your recurring payroll:
Go to tab Pay Yourself > Payroll Runs > Scheduled payroll runs: Click on Options > Edit.
Here you will need to update the Basic salary to the figure calculated based on either 80% of your monthly salary as of 29th February 2020 if you took a fixed amount each month during the 2019/20 tax year. Or, if you paid yourself variable amounts during the 2019/20 tax year you need to update with 80% of the average monthly salary during the 2019/20 tax year.
If you have not set up a recurring payroll in your Crunch account, and update your payroll monthly, simply include the actual amount you pay yourself.
If your company has employees, you will be a Crunch payroll customer and will need to contact the payroll team on firstname.lastname@example.org to make the necessary changes to your Crunch account.
Activating “PAYE for employers” online
You must log in to your HMRC company government gateway account.
You must ensure your company government gateway account has the address set to your home address in order to receive the necessary activation code:
- Scroll down to “Get another tax, duty or scheme” and click on “Find a tax, duty or scheme”
- What do you want to add? Choose “Employers or intermediaries, for example PAYE for employers or CIS” and click Continue.
- Which employer tax do you want to add? Select “PAYE for Employers” and continue through the prompts to trigger the activation code from HMRC.
- “Do you have an employer PAYE reference?” If you have an existing scheme and just need to activate the online account for this, select “Yes.”
- Once ‘’Yes’’ is selected, you’ll be asked for your company’s PAYE details – ‘HMRC office number’ (this is the first three digits of your PAYE reference before the slash), ‘Employer PAYE reference’ (the digits after the slash), and ‘Accounts office reference’. Once these are filled in, click “Request access.”Please note, we have had reports that HMRC may not be sending the “Authorisation Codes” that are usually required to access this service. In this instance, you may not need to complete steps 6 and 7.
- You’ll be redirected to a page indicating successful submission. HMRC will send an activation code to your address and you should receive this within 10 working days, providing HMRC have the correct PAYE address for you. Ensure the address is your home address.
- Once you receive the code, you must log into gateway account and click on the “activate” box next to “PAYE for Employers”, enter the code and click “activate”
You can find out about the other support available to businesses on our COVID-19 content Hub.