The new Treasury Direction on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: what you need to know

17 November 2020

This article was updated on 18 November 2020.

Further to our previous update on the extension to furlough, the Treasury released a further legal direction on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 13 November 2020, as well as updated their guidance on the CJRS.

This is now the fourth Treasury Direction on the CJRS. As we already knew, the direction confirms that the CJRS will be extended until 31 March 2021 and gives further details of the terms of the scheme between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. A further direction governing the scheme from February until the end of March 2021 will be released in due course, although no timeframe has yet been given for this.

The main points from the Treasury Direction are as follows:

  • The direction confirms that HMRC will publish information about employers who claim under the CJRS from periods occurring after 1 December 2020, including their name, company reference number and a reasonable indication of the amount claimed. This will be published by a notice on the government website. HMRC may choose not to publish the information if there is a serious risk of violence or intimidation against an employer or their employees.
  • We also highlighted previously that the government was considering whether employers could claim the CJRS where the relevant employee(s) are serving out their notice period. The Treasury Direction now confirms that employers will not be able to claim for any day on or after 1 December 2020 that an employee is on notice of termination. This includes both statutory and contractual notice. For periods before 1 December 2020, employers will be able to claim for statutory notice periods. Neither the Treasury Direction nor the guidance indicate whether this will also apply to any additional contractual notice period and pending further guidance it should be assumed this will not be the case.
  • The agreement to put an employee on furlough must be completed before the beginning of the claim. There was an opportunity last week for employers to enter into furlough agreements with employees which took effect from 1 November 2020. However, the deadline for this opportunity expired on 13 November 2020, and any agreements entered into after 13 November can no longer be backdated.
  • Lastly, the direction formally confirms that the Job Retention Bonus has been withdrawn.

If you would like more information or advice on your business' position in light of the government's announcement, please contact our Employment team or your usual Wilsons contact.

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