The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) came to an end on 30 September 2021. The scheme has provided financial help to employers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing employers to claim grants with which to pay furloughed and flexibly furloughed employees. If you still have employees who are on furlough, or who are flexibly furloughed, the last month for which you can make a claim is September 2021. You also need to decide what to do with furloughed employees now that the scheme has come to an end.
The last month for which a claim can be made under the scheme is September 2021. The deadline for claiming grants in respect of employees who were furloughed or flexibly furloughed during September is 14 October 2021. As previously, claims can be made online through the claim portal.
For September 2021, as previously, the employee will receive a grant of 80% of their usual pay for their furloughed hours, subject to the cap of £2,500 per month. You can claim 60% of the employee’s usual wages for their furloughed hours. This is subject to a cap of £1,875 for the month. You must make up the difference between the amount to which the employee is entitled and the amount that you have claimed under the scheme. The maximum contribution that you will be required to make for September 2021 is £625 per employee. You will also need to pay any associated employer’s National Insurance and employer pension contributions. Amounts paid to employees are liable to PAYE tax and National Insurance in the usual way.
If you miss the claim deadline, you may be able to make a late claim under the scheme if you have a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline, you have taken reasonable care to make the claim on time, and you claimed without delay as soon as you were able. HMRC may accept that you had a reasonable excuse for failing to make the claim on time if, for example:
- your partner or a close relative died shortly before the claim deadline;
- you had an unexpected stay in hospital which prevented you from dealing with the claim;
- you had a serious or life-threatening illness which prevented you from making your claim;
- a period of self-isolation prevented you from making your claim;
- your computer or software failed just before, or while, you were making your claim;
- service issues with HMRC prevented you from making a claim;
- a fire, flood or theft prevented you from making your claim;
- unforeseen postal delays prevented you from making a claim;
- you were unable to make the claim due to delays related to a disability that you have; or
- an HMRC error prevented you making your claim on time.
If you have missed the claim deadline and have a reasonable excuse for doing so, you should make the claim as soon as you are able, using the service as normal.
Amending the claim
If you have not claimed enough and you need to amend your claim for September, you have until 28 October 2021 in which to do this.
What to do when the scheme closes
At the end of the scheme, if you still have employees who are furloughed or flexibly furloughed, you will need to decide whether:
- to bring them back to work on their agreed terms and conditions;
- terminate their employment; or
- agree any changes to their terms and conditions.
If you terminate an employee’s employment, remember that normal redundancy rules apply.
If you are still using the CJRS, we can help you decide your next steps.