Employment Law Update: 23rd November 2020 – Furlough: The Extended Scheme

Further to our article published last week regarding the extended furlough scheme, the Government has updated its guidance with regards to the timescales for submitting a furlough claim with HMRC.

Under the extended furlough scheme, employers cannot submit claims more than 14 days before the claim period end date.

The Government guidance helpfully sets out the following table, specifying when claims need to be submitted:

Claim for furlough days in:                          Claim must be submitted by:

November 2020                                              14th December 2020

December 2020                                              14th January 2021

January 2021                                                  15th February 2021

February 2021                                                15th March 2021

March 2021                                                     14th April 2021

The updated Government guidance now provides some examples of what would be considered a “reasonable excuse”, which are as follows:There are certain circumstances where HMRC may accept a claim made after the relevant deadline provided the employer has a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline. In this instance, the employer must show that they did take reasonable care to meet the deadline and that following the deadline it made a claim without delay after the excuse no longer applied.

  • 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

HMRC will not consider a “reasonable excuse” before a claim deadline.

We hope that this update has proved useful – if you have any questions please contact our employment department at employment@berrysmith.com or on 02920 345511.