Sentient Group Ltd
Info Update 2020/38                                                        Issue Date: 01/07/2020
CJRS - New Treasury Direction
As is the way these days guidance was produced by the government on changes to the CJRS and then we wait with bated breath for the Treasury to publish its Direction on how it all works.
We can confirm the new Treasury Direction on the CJRS was published on Friday June 26th, 2020. It is split into two parts:
  • Part 1 deals with the original Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS); and
  • Part 2 covers the period 1st July 2020 – 31st October 2020 and the new rules regarding the amended (CJRS) which allows for flexible furlough.
Importantly, the document verifies that a new CJRS claim cannot be made under the original CJRS scheme “in respect of a time occurring after 30th June 2020” and that the final date for employers to make claims in respect of the original CJRS is 31st July 2020. This means if you have anyone on furlough under the old scheme you must make a claim for the money by the end of July.
Additionally, employers will only be able to use the flexible furlough CJRS from July 1st 2020, if they have made a claim under the original CJRS by July 31st 2020 in respect of an employee who has been furloughed for a minimum period of three weeks beginning on or before June 10th 2020. The maximum number of employees that may be furloughed after 1st July 2020 cannot exceed the maximum number in any one claim made for furlough periods prior to 1st July, called the “high-watermark number”.
The exception to this is if an employee is returning from statutory family leave (maternity, paternity etc.,), or has been serving as an armed forces reservists, then they may be furloughed for the first time (if you have previously furloughed at least one employee before 10th June 2020).
The Direction also sets out the conditions for an employee to be a flexible furloughed employee. An employee will be a qualifying employee if they have been instructed by their employer “to do no work in relation to their employment during a CJRS claim period”, or “not to work the full amount of the employees usual hours in relation to their employment during a CJRS claim period”.
The instruction must be given for reasons relating to Coronavirus and the terms of furlough whether full or flexi furlough must be agreed. This can be by agreement between the employer and employee, or by collective agreement between the employer and a trade union and
  • must be in writing, or confirmed in writing (this can be in electronic form such as an email);
  • be made before the beginning of the period of furlough to which a claim relates (although it can subsequently be varied to reflect any variation agreed during the period to which the claim relates);
  • confirm that the employee will do no work in relation to their employment; or the employee will not carry out the full amount of their usual hours in relation to their employment;
  • specify the main terms and conditions upon which the employee will do no work or will not work the full amount of their usual hours; and
  • be retained by the employer until at least 30th June 2025.
The Direction states that the new flexible furlough CJRS claim period which must begin and end in the same CJRS calendar month (July to October 2020) and relate to a period of 7 or more consecutive days or an “orphan period” (a period of no more than 6 consecutive days that begins on the first day of a CJRS calendar month or ends on the last day of a CJRS calendar month).
There is a large and complex section detailing the costs that can be claimed under the new scheme together with calculations required to work out “usual hours” and “furloughed hours” in relation to claims for flexi furlough. The cap on the grant will be proportional to those hours not worked. Employers will need to tread carefully to ensure they properly calculate their employee’s usual hours and establish how best the new scheme can work for them.
Our Information Update 2020/35 explains how the CJRS will be tapered down from 1st August and you should also be aware, that the scheme is due to end on 31st October 2020.
Covid Infection Control Risk Assessment
Please note, we have made some small adjustments to the control measures within the Risk Assessment template. Version 4 is now available online. In summary, we would draw your attention to the need to display the Covid secure notice in the workplace (see link contained within the Risk Assessment). We have also added an additional comment for people in the high risk groups. 
The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of the law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.
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