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FAQs: The Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The government has announced that the Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (ECJRS) would remain open until 31 March 2021. For Frequently Asked Questions about the original Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, click here.

  1. Which employees are eligible for the Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (ECJRS)?
  2. Does the £2,500 cap in the ECJRS include National Insurance and Pension contributions?
  3. I was dismissed before the ECJRS was announced, can I ask my employer to reinstate me?
  4. How will my pay be calculated under the new ECJRS?
  5. Under the new ECJRS, does my employer have to top up my salary?
  6. Am I allowed to work part-time under the ECJRS?
  7. Under the ECJRS, can I benefit from the furlough leave in order to “shield”?
  8. My employer has made me redundant and has served me with notice while I am on furlough. Am I due all of my contractual notice for my 2 months’ notice period?
  9. Can my employer claim back my notice pay while I am on furlough through the furlough grant?

Which employees are eligible for the Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (ECJRS)?

The government announced an extension to the original Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will now remain open until 31 March 2021.

For employees to be eligible they have to be on the payroll on 30 October 2020 but they needn’t have been furloughed before then. Employers will need to claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days. Employees who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer on or after 23 September 2020 can be re-employed and put on furlough. This is not mandatory and it is down to the employer as to whether they choose to do this. Employees can be furloughed where they are unable to work because they are shielding or have caring responsibilities including those looking after children.

Does the £2,500 cap in the ECJRS include National Insurance and Pension contributions?

No, the grant does not cover this. From 1 November the Employer has to continue to pay national insurance and pension payments.

I was dismissed before the ECJRS was announced, can I ask my employer to reinstate me?

Under the extended scheme, if you were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 and were made redundant or stopped working for your employer afterwards, you can be re-employed and claimed for. However, there is no obligation for your employer to do so.

How will my pay be calculated under the new ECJRS?

Under the extended scheme your employer can again claim up to 80% of salary. This percentage may be reviewed for February and March.

Under the new ECJRS, does my employer have to top up my salary?

Employers can once again claim 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will only pay the NI contributions and pension contributions. The percentage may be reviewed for February and March. Your employer may choose to top up the 80%/£2,500 cap, but they are not obliged to do so.

Am I allowed to work part-time under the ECJRS?

The extended scheme also allows for flexible working.

Under the ECJRS, can I benefit from the furlough leave in order to “shield”?

The latest guidance from the Government has confirmed that “shielded” individuals (which includes pregnant women) can benefit from furlough leave which means that the Government will reimburse 80% of their wages even if the business has sufficient work for them to do.

My employer has made me redundant and has served me with notice while I am on furlough. Am I due all of my contractual notice for my 2 months’ notice period?

You should get your full contractual notice pay unless this has been varied to statutory only in a furlough letter or agreement.

Can my employer claim back my notice pay while I am on furlough through the furlough grant?

For periods up to 1 November 2020, employers could claim the furlough grant to subsidise both their employee’s statutory and contractual notice.

From 1November to 1 December only statutory notice could be claimed for as part of the furlough grant.

From 1 December 2020 onwards, employers cannot claim the furlough grant for either contractual or statutory notice periods. This applies to employees who are being made redundant, and also those who are retiring or who are resigning and have given notice.

For expert advice on furlough leave and the Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, contact our Employment Law team on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk.

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