From 1 May 2021, a number of changes will take effect for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘furlough’), in particular, introducing greater flexibility regarding which employees can be placed on furlough. At present, furloughed employees must have been included in a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee, but this period is to be extended.

From 1 May 2021, employees who were employed on 2 March 2021 can be furloughed, provided that they were included in an RTI submission between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021. Organisations will not have to have previously claimed for an employee before 2 March 2021 to claim for periods from starting on or after 1 May 2021.

CJRS grants will continue cover 80% of employees’ usual wages (not including NICs and minimum pension contributions) until 30 June 2021. In July, employers must contribute 10% towards employees’ wages (the CJRS covers 70%), increasing to 20% in August and September (the CJRS covers 60%).

For periods beginning on or after 1 May 2021, organisations will no longer be able to furlough staff who were previously made redundant.

Further ongoing COVID-19 related support measures are outlined in our earlier article, linked here.