This week we have had some further updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS):
- The chancellor has announced that all employers who return previously furloughed staff to work and retain them until the end of January 2021 whilst paying at least £520 on average each month from November to January, shall be eligible for a £1,000 grant from HMRC. Payments will be made from February 2021. For most employers this would not be sufficient incentive on its own to retain staff they no longer require but may help to sway some borderline cases whilst acting as a further fillip to those businesses who are returning closer to normality. Full details will be released in due course.
- Following an article in the Telegraph last weekend questioning whether employers could use the CJRS for payment of notice pay, in a written answer to a Parliamentary question, the Financial Secretary to HM Treasury confirmed that employers may continue to claim CJRS funds for furloughed employees who are under notice. This only applies to those who remain employed throughout their notice period, CJRS cannot be used to make a payment in lieu of notice, nor can it be used to pay redundancy pay.
- There have also been some further updates on safe working guidance reflecting advice on facilitating verbal communication, keeping records of staff and outbreaks in the workplace. The guidance can be found here.
Announcements of mass redundancies seem to becoming a regular occurrence now and with confirmation that CJRS can be used to subsidise notice pay will likely accelerate over the coming weeks as employers look to try and make use of the scheme for this purpose prior to it ending in October (if someone has a three month notice period, in order to receive the CJRS payments for the full period of notice the latest they can be dismissed is the end of this month).
If you have any queries in regard to the CJRS or restructuring your staff please contact our Employment Team on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.