Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS) – Key Updates

7 April 2020 

On Saturday 4 April the government published some further guidance detailing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to clarify some ambiguities in the scheme prior to the online portal for claims opening later this month.

We have already briefly summarised the CRJS in one of our previous insights. Full details are available here, but as a brief summary, key updated areas include:

Eligible Employees

The Government has clarified further examples of types of employees that would be eligible for the scheme:

Apprentices

– Businesses that employ apprentices can claim for their wages and apprentices can continue to train whilst furloughed

– Any shortfall between the amount received for furlough and the applicable minimum wage must be met by the employer.

Individuals

– Provided employees of individuals (e.g. nannies/cleaners etc.) are paid via PAYE – they are also eligible to be part of the scheme.

‘Shielding’ Employees

– Employees following government advice to ‘shield’ from all external contact (or caring for those who are shielding) are also eligible for the scheme if they are unable to work from home and an employer would otherwise have to make them redundant.

Employees with caring responsibilities

– Employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (e.g. looking after children) can be furloughed.

If an employee has more than one job

– An employee can be furloughed for more than one job. Each job is treated separately and the 80%/£2,500 cap would apply to each employer individually.

– Employees can be furloughed from one job and continue to work in another as normal.

Employees on fixed term contracts

– Employees on fixed term contracts can be furloughed. Their contracts can be renewed or extended during the furlough period and an employer would still be able to claim for this employee as usual.

Other Individuals

Subject to the relevant company/procedural requirements, individuals who are not technically ‘employees’ are still eligible for the scheme if they are paid via PAYE:

– office holders (including company directors);
– salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs);
– agency workers (including those employed by umbrella companies); and
– limb (b) workers (also known as ‘dependent contractors’).

Maternity Leave/Paternity Leave/Adoption Leave/Shared Parental Leave

The usual guidelines for these types of leave will operate as normal.

However, employers who offer enhanced (earnings related) contractual pay for these types of leave can claim for this through the CJRS.

What can employees do whilst furloughed?

The government guidelines are clear that furloughed employees cannot provide services to or generate revenue for their employer.

Despite this furloughed employees can:

– Undertake volunteer work that is not directly connected to the employer;
– Undertake work for another employer (provided this is not prohibited in their employment contract); and/or
– Undertake training (subject to payment of the applicable minimum wage)

Agreeing to furlough employees

There is now more clarity around the procedural requirements when furloughing employees to be eligible for the scheme:

– Changes to an employee’s employment contract should be discussed and agreed in advance. (It is important to remember that equality and discrimination laws will apply to this process in the usual way);
– Employers must confirm in writing to their employee that they have been furloughed; and
– Employers should keep a record of furlough communications for five (5) years.

Employee Rights

The guidelines have clarified that being placed on furlough does not affect an employee’s existing rights, including:

– Statutory Sick Pay;
– maternity and other parental rights;
– rights against unfair dismissal; and
– redundancy payments.

The guidance is clear to point out that the CJRS should not be used to fund any aspect of redundancy payments and re-emphasise that monitoring of legitimacy of claims will continue after the scheme has closed.

Whilst due care has been taken to ensure the contents of this note are accurate as at the date of creation (6 April 2020), given the rapidly developing circumstances the contents of this note are not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you have any further questions on the topics raised, please do get in touch with us via email at hello@stephenson.law.

Latest COVID-19 insights


Get in touch

 

 

We’d love to talk about how we can help your business.

Contact Us 

T: 0117 244 0056
E: hello@stephenson.law

Address:
Desklodge House,
Redcliffe Way,

Bristol, BS1 6NL

Head to our social pages
Linktr.ee

Contact Us 

T: 0117 244 0056
E: hello@stephenson.law

Address:
Desklodge House, Redcliffe Way
Bristol, BS1 6NL

Head to our social pages
Linktr.ee