The Government has now clarified its guidance and has outlined the time limits for submitting furlough claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme over the coming months.

The guidance indicates that claims ‘must be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend or a bank holiday then claims should be submitted on the next working day’. 

The time limits for claims made in the period from November 2020 to March 2021 are  therefore as follows:

Claim for furlough days in       Claim must be submitted by

November 2020                        14 December 2020

December 2020 1                      4 January 2021

January 2021                            15 February 2021

February 2021                           15 March 2021

March 2021                               14 April 2021

The guidance also explains that claims may be accepted after the relevant deadline if an employer has a  ‘reasonable excuse’ for failing to submit a claim in time. Examples are given of may amount to a ‘reasonable excuse’ which includes:-

  • 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; or
  • a HMRC error prevented you from making your claim

If you have any queries about the updated guidance and would like to discuss them, please contact a member of our Employment Law Team.