COVID-19: Treasury Direction and CJRS guidance updated to exclude notice periods
- On Thursday 12 November, the fourth Treasury Direction on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) Guidance was released. The Direction formally extends the CJRS until 31 March 2021 and sets out how the CJRS will operate between the dates of 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021.
- The Direction includes news that includes the exclusion of employers claiming CJRS payments for employees serving a notice period.
- Government has also updated its guidance pages here and here to reflect the changes:
- For claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, your employer cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which you were serving a contractual or statutory notice period for your employer (this includes people serving notice of retirement or resignation)
- When claiming for periods pre 1 December 2020, an employer may include periods when the employee is serving a statutory or contractual notice period
- Other updates include confirmation that requests to amend CJRS claims to increase the amount claimed must be in place before the start of the relevant claim period. Deadline days for doing so have been specified as:
- 29 December 2020 in relation to the November 2020 CJRS extension calendar month;
- 28 January 2021 in relation to the December 2020 CJRS extension calendar month;
- 1 March 2021 in relation to the January 2021 CJRS extension calendar month.
- The Direction has made it a requirement for HMRC to publish information about any business making a CJRS claim with the exception of employers who can show that publication would expose their workforce to “serious risk of violence or intimidation”. The information published will include the name of the employer and a reasonable indication of the amount claimed.
- The Direction has also officially withdrawn the job retention bonus which was scheduled to open in February 2021.
The official withdrawal of the job retention bonus is anticipated to come as unwelcome news to employers who had included the expected amounts in their cashflow forecasts.
Whilst we were expecting the confirmation regarding CJRS claims not being utilised for notice periods (statutory or contractual) served on or after 1 December 2020, it may force some businesses to bring forward redundancy plans. In the alternative, it will put additional strain on businesses who are forced to make employees redundant as the effect of the pandemic continues but with no support from the Government post 1 December 2020.
We are working with a number of clients with employment guidance, such as restructuring, redundancies, home working and absence policies. Please get in touch with one of our advisors on 0121 445 6178 for a chat to see how we can support you and your business.