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What problems remain with CJRS (furlough) claims?

Do you have issues with CJRS calculations, the claims process, or how to declare the grants?

Didn't find your answer?

HMRC is setting up a new CJRS stakeholder forum, which will meet for the first time on 24 June.

Payroll guru Kate Upcraft will be attending and she wants to know what niggling problems smaller employers and accountancy firms still have with the CJRS. Please let us know about any outstanding issues you have, so Kate can raise the points at that forum. 

Replies (11)

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By Duggimon
10th Jun 2021 11:13

Splitting it by calendar months is an absolute pain. Most of our variable payrolls are four weekly and it's been a constant nuisance.

This isn't so much a niggle that remains rather than one introduced by HMRC part way through the scheme though, so presumably they have a reason for it and no intention of changing it.

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By Yeadonian
10th Jun 2021 14:29

Agree with this. We have 3 companies in our group, each with 2 payrolls. All staff are paid on the last Friday of the month, but Salaried staff are paid for the whole calendar month, and hourly-paid staff are paid for hours worked up to the previous Sunday, which can be either 4 or 5 weeks depending on the month.

As I can only submit one claim per company, and cannot overlap months, I have to work out furlough pay for payroll purposes, then adjust all the hourly-paid staff by adding in the last week or so of the month (which hasn't yet gone through payroll), and deducting the bit which falls into the previous month (which has already been claimed for).

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By Wanderer
10th Jun 2021 11:23

"CJRS stakeholder forum, which will meet for the first time on 24 June."
Seriously?
15 months into the system when we've had to work out all the nuances ourselves to jump through HMRC's hoops.
3 months to go.
What exactly is the point?

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By Paul Crowley
10th Jun 2021 11:28

+1
The niggle is that it still exists across all sectors and paying the wages of people who have no job and have not had a job for months.
Come the finish, a lot of companies will be struck off or abandoned.

Any state aid should be aimed at particular industries

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By Hugo Fair
10th Jun 2021 12:29

Not strictly a CJRS issue, but an unknown (to me) waiting in the wings of furlough ...

Employer A flexi furloughed employee X, who (as that was allowed) got a part-time job with Employer B.
Employer A now wants employee X to come off furlough entirely, but employee X isn't available to do so (because Employer B wishes to continue employing employee X, who also likes the variety of having two jobs).
Who has what rights?

[Can Employer A take a refusal to return full-time as breaking original employment contract? Or can employee X refuse the demand for 'extra' hours? Does Employer B have any say in any of this?]

I know this is all employment law related but (along with how to handle employees who refuse to return to work in offices or who demand to know the vaccination status of co-workers) these are the issues confronting employers as CJRS winds down - not how to calculate/claim from HMRC (which is mostly seen now as too little too late).

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By tom123
10th Jun 2021 13:42

I just want the whole thing to stop now.
And I only have one payroll..

The whole basis of the calculation was bizarre, (ie including weekends etc, usual hours) bearing no resemblance to how anyone outside of public sector would even imagine running a payroll.

See also the strange link with holiday pay / entitlement / topping up..

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By Yeadonian
10th Jun 2021 14:49

Exactly. A standard full time office worker in May would have had 21 working days, at 7.5 hours each, so usual hours for any rational person would be 21 x 7.5 = 157.5 hours. If they were furloughed on Fridays, there were 4 Fridays in May, so 4 x 7.5 = 30 hours furlough pay.

Instead, I have to say that they were contracted for 37.5 hours, and divide this by 7 days in the calendar week, giving me 5.357... hours per day. Then I have to multiply this by the 31 calendar days in May, which gives me 166.07 hours, which I have to round down to 166. Then I have to say that they worked for 17 days, which is 127.5 hours. 166 - 127.5 = 38.5 hours furlough pay, which is a nonsense.

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By kathyk0410
10th Jun 2021 17:35

Yes I also struggled with May 21 Furlough as you say the numbers don't really work out - plus the fact that they were 2 BHs to throw into the mix. With a return to work and minimal Furlough, the discrepancies are more marked.

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By Barbara G
11th Jun 2021 18:47

Totally agree with the crossover calendar month issue, meaning double the claim process in a crossover week. We still have 23 weekly processed payrolls whereby flexi furlough has to be claimed on a weekly basis, which is extremely time consuming. Though I suppose with the claim reducing to 70% from July can't do much about that now.

Also, the lookback to the same calendar period in 2019 for variably paid employees has been very very time consuming and doesn't make much sense. Why can't it be the same tax period instead of calendar period, which would be easier to calculate? It's only a difference of 2 days anyway.

Finally, please, please, please, please, no matter what, under no circumstances agree to extend CJRS beyond 30th September 2021.

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By Hugo Fair
11th Jun 2021 21:24

In addition to the complexity of the calc process (and resultant uncertainty) - as mentioned by others here - there is a lack of detail regarding entitlement (or lack of it) when circumstances change.
Often the 'moral' perspective feels clear but is at odds with the Agents disinclination to tell the client to stop claiming (which is technically the client's choice) in the absence of clear instructions.

Recent examples on this site have included:
* https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/overdrawn-directors-loan-acc...
* https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/employing-new-staff-while-ot...
* https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/cjrs-abuse-if-no-company-inc...
* https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/emerging-from-lockdown-and-u...
* https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/cjrs-sense-check-employee-re...
... and these are just a random selection from less than a third of CJRS-related posts since Jan this year!

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By Paul Crowley
12th Jun 2021 13:08

Good news for me is that the Pub client has decided to drop all furlough at the end of this month.
Paying 80% recovering 60% means he would be facing 25% of gross and all ERNIC and all Employers Pension.

Not helpful for a damaged by covid business

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