Further Treasury Direction (26 January 2021)
HMRC has now published the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Direction extending the scheme to 30 April 2021.
The current Direction only extends the scheme to 31 January 2021.
Members will be pleased that this Direction is shorter than previous Directions as it mainly keeps the same rules included in the previous Directions but with new reference dates.
The main changes are to ‘reference salary’ and ‘usual hours’ to be used for variable rate workers who are furloughed in March and April 2021. For those persons, as the relevant reference period to calculate the furlough grant will conflict with the period during which furlough was introduced, the employer is instructed to use the March and April 2019 figures.
This may create some issues for people who have had a pay rise between 2019 and March 2020 but in those cases the employer can use the higher of either that or the 2019 / 2020 average.
The Check if you can claim for your employee’s wages Guide have also been updated with a new ‘Details of your claim that will be publicly available‘ section added. Links have also been provided to how to ask HMRC not to publish claim details and the data on claims made by businesses for the month of December. This is the first publication of the monthly data on claims made by employers through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme that can be viewed here