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Keeping up to date

Keeping you in our focus with proactive and straight-talking insights, and coming to you first with practical solutions and guidance on the latest employment law and people trends.

Time limits for making furlough claims

Posted on: November 25th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

The latest HMRC Treasury Direction has introduced tight new time limits for making claims under the extended CJRS, along with time limits for amending claims already made.

Time limits for making claims

Claim for furlough days in: Claim must be submitted by:
November 2020 14 December 2020
December 2020 14 January 2021
January 2021 15 February 2021
February 2021 15 March 2021
March 2021 14 April 2021

Missing the time limits – reasonable excuses

In certain circumstances, HMRC may accept a claim after the above time limits if you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for failing to do so. The guidance has provided examples as to what may be considered as a ‘reasonable excuse’, including:

  1. Failure of computer software
  2. Service issues with HRMC online services
  3. Self-isolation prevented you from making a claim, and no other person could make it for you
  4. An unexpected stay in hospital

Click here for the full list.

Time limits for amending claims 

Claim for furlough days in: Amendments can be made up to:
November 2020 29 December 2020
December 2020 28 January 2021
January 2021 1 March 2021

Click here for more information on how to our CJRS FAQs providing comprehensive, practical guidance on every aspect of the scheme and extension.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (25 November 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Mental health: COVID’s continuing cost

Posted on: November 19th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

The latest figures predict that up to 10 million people will need mental health support as a direct result of the pandemic. Early recognition and action can support those who might otherwise have ended up as another statistic.

Here’s how you can help those who might be struggling to help themselves…

Keep your doors open – the government have clarified that those who need to attend work premises for ‘their mental health’ or ‘wellbeing’ may continue to do so. There’s a list of businesses which must remain closed (here) but if you don’t feature on the list, you can choose to keep your doors open for colleagues struggling with their mental fitness.

Stay connected – it takes hard work, organisation and commitment to stay connected remotely. Working from home can make colleagues feel isolated and disconnected. Click here for our ideas on supporting those working remotely. If you’re not working remotely staying connected is equally important – just because your doors are open doesn’t mean those employees attending work don’t have wider pressures and concerns outside of work.

Caring personally – making time for colleagues is different from catching five minutes with them at the end of a work call. Encourage managers to have a video call or a chat with their colleagues on a regular basis to see where their head is at and how they’re doing.

Promote holidays – it might not seem like the most exciting time to take annual leave but even during a lockdown it’s important that employees are encouraged to take a break away from work. Managers should understand that time off is genuinely time out – ensure they’re not treating holidaying employees as if they were at work.

Mental health webinar: 1 December 2020 / 10am

For further details on how to promote mental fitness during these challenging times, join us on our free mental health webinar at 10am on 1 December 2020. Click here to sign up.

Mental health toolkit

Promoting employee well-being and mental health creates a more engaged workforce, reduces sickness absence and drives performance. We’ve created a user-friendly toolkit providing you and your managers with the knowledge, skills and tools to support your team’s mental health needs within the wider employment law context. Click here to find out more.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (24 November 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Employers using furlough funds to be publically named

Posted on: November 18th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

If you furlough employees in December (and onwards) and claim under the CJRS, within three months of each extended claim period HMRC will publish your name and a ‘reasonable indication’ of the claim that you’ve made (there is no guidance at present as to what that will entail).

With most financial year ends rapidly approaching it’s likely HMRC are hoping for greater self-regulation of the use of furlough. Those employers about to report strong financial years may be thinking carefully about whether to claim furlough from December onwards if they want to avoid their name in lights.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (18 November 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

New CJRS Treasury Direction

Posted on: November 17th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

HM Treasury has published the fourth Direction covering the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (here). It is consistent with the latest government guidance and provides clarity regarding the publication of those employers claiming furlough and whether furlough can be claimed for employees serving notice.

Here are the headlines:

Notice – you cannot claim for any day that an employee is serving statutory or contractual notice from 1 December 2020 to 31 January 2021 (inclusive).

Public information – in order to claim furlough from December onwards you must confirm your acceptance that HMRC will make the names of employers claiming furlough publically available. Our update tomorrow will include more information on this.

Furlough agreements – as we know, you must secure agreement in writing in advance of furloughing employees. You are no longer able to secure that agreement retrospectively. Get in touch to access our template letters.

CJRS bonus – the Direction confirms that the bonus has been withdrawn.

February 2021 onwards – the Direction doesn’t provide clarity on the furlough scheme from February 2021 onwards. Further updates will be provided in respect of that period and beyond.

Get in touch if you need advice or support on anything contained in this update or the latest Treasury Direction.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (17 November 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Holidays during furlough

Posted on: November 13th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

With most holiday years coming to an end and employees having had little time to take a genuine holiday, many employers are considering whether to force employees to take holiday during current furlough.

Employees are able to take holiday while furloughed, but here’s a few things to consider.

  1. Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period.
  2. Working Time Regulations (WTR) require employees to be paid their normal rate of holiday pay for any holiday taken during furlough, so you’ll need to top up over and above the 80% government contribution.
  3. Legally, you’re able to require employees to take holiday by giving twice as much notice of their need to take holiday as the period of holiday you’re asking them to take. So, if you want them to take five days’ holiday you’ll need to give them 10 working days’ notice (unless their contract allows you to give less notice).
  4. Holidays are an opportunity to rest, recharge, and a health and safety requirement under the WTR, so if you’re requiring employees to take holiday whilst on furlough, ensure that the time out is genuinely time off.

Get in touch if you need to discuss your approach to holidays during furlough with our team.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (16 November 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.