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HMRC has confirmed that, unfortunately, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) calculator (furlough) contained a software error, but that this has now been rectified.

What this does mean, however, is that anybody who utilised the calculator prior to 21 January 2021 to calculate January 2021 claims for employees who are not on a fixed salary will be required to re-calculate their claims if:

  • They used an employee’s pay for January 2019 as reference pay, instead of 2020, and
  • Their pay was different in January 2019 to January 2020

Where January 2020 pay was used, there is no need for claimants to take any further action.

HMRC has apologised to anybody who will now be required to re-calculate their claims.

If, upon performing the re-calculation, it is apparent that the claim amount was incorrect, then:

  • If a claim for too much has been submitted, this should be amended in the next CJRS claim submission. Alternatively, HMRC should be notified as soon as possible, and a repayment made either online, through HMRC’s card payment service or by bank transfer
  • If a claim for too little was submitted, then claimants should call the helpline to get this corrected by 1 March 2021



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So yet again things have changed!
1) The furlough scheme (CJRS,Coronavirus Job Retention scheme) has now been extended. For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Employers across the UK can claim, whether their businesses are open or closed. Also you do not have had to have claimed furlough before. Employers can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. If you are unsure as to wether or not an employee qualifies please contact me.
2) As before, employers will have flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time or shift pattern, furloughing employees on either a full-time or part-time basis, and will be able to vary the hours worked in agreement with the employee.
3) For an employee who meets the criteria of the extended scheme but was not previously eligible for CJRS, the alternative calculations come into effect. You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll as long as it’s submitted on or before 30 November 2020. You can usually make your claim up to 14 days before your claim period end date and do not have to wait until the end of a claim period to make your next claim. You will not be able to add to an existing claim after 30 November 2020. Furloughed employees continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract.
If an employee was not previously eligible for CJRS, 80% of wages must be calculated for employees:
a) on a fixed salary - 80% of the wages payable in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020
b) whose pay varies - 80% of the average payable between (these dates are inclusive) the start date of their employment or 6 April 2020 (whichever is later) and the day before their CJRS extension furlough periods begins
0% of wages is capped at the maximum wage amount.
4) Employees can take holiday while on furlough. If an employee is flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours. Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period. Working Time Regulations require holiday pay to be paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay or, where the rate of pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay received by the employee in the previous 52 working weeks. Therefore, if a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay their usual holiday pay in accordance with the Working Time Regulations. Employers will be obliged to pay additional amounts over the grant, though will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need. This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period. If an employee usually works bank holidays then the employer can agree that this is included in the grant payment. If the employee usually takes the bank holiday as leave then the employer would either have to top up their usual holiday pay, or give the employee a day of holiday in lieu.
5) PLEASE NOTE the Job Retention Bonus pf £1,000 has now been withdrawn!
A lot to take in, I know, and as with everything else things may change, but if they do I shall tell you!
The Wages Room is here to help you through this very difficult time. Contact us on 020 7183 9061 or email
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