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CJRS: New guidelines on time limits for furlough claims

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CJRS: New guidelines on time limits for furlough claims

CJRS: New guidelines on time limits for furlough claims

On 10 November, the government published its guidance on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’), commonly known as the furlough scheme.

Following the extension of the CJRS to the end of March 2021, the Government announced the implementation of revised (and rather tight) timescales for lodging new claims under the scheme.

Broadly speaking, the new timescales (set out in the table below) require a claim to be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. For instance, if you are claiming your employees’ wages for November 2020, you must ensure that you submit your claim by 11.59pm on 14 December 2020. If the deadline falls on a weekend or bank holiday, the claim should be submitted on the next working day.

Claim for furlough days in:

      Claim must be submitted by:

November 2020

      11.59pm on 14 December 2020

December 2020

      11.59pm on 14 January 2021

January 2021

      11.59pm on 15 February 2021

February 2021

      11.59pm on 15 March 2021

March 2021

      11.59pm on 14 April 2021

Luckily, the Government has recognised that there may be circumstances when an employer is precluded from submitting its claim within the revised timescales and has indicated that it may also accept a claim after the deadline has passed if there is a “reasonable excuse for failing to make a claim in time”. Yesterday, it provided a list of examples that “may” amount to a reasonable excuse:-

  • your partner or another close relative died shortly before the claim deadline
  • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your claim
  • you had a serious or life-threatening illness, including Coronavirus related illnesses, which prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could claim for you)
  • a period of self-isolation prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could make the claim for you)
  • your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online claim
  • service issues with HMRC online services prevented you from making your claim
  • a fire, flood or theft prevented you them from making your claim
  • postal delays that you could not have predicted prevented you from making your claim
  • delays related to a disability you have prevented you from making your claim
  • a HMRC error prevented you from making your claim

On a brief analysis of the above list, it is clear that the Government’s intention is for the “reasonable excuse” to be used in extreme circumstances, outside of the employer’s control, which physically or psychologically precluded it from making a claim.

Get in touch

If your business needs legal support with any issues arising from COVID-19, please get in touch with Andra Stanton

All information in this update is accurate at the time of writing. It is meant for general information only and is not legal advice.