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HMRC clarifies CJRS furlough scheme ‘usual hours’ calculation

The HMRC has updated its guidance on how to perform usual hours calculations where employees come off furlough partway through a claim period.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) highlighted the change, which came into force on Wednesday (September 16) and aims to address “confusion about how to calculate an employee’s usual hours” following the introduction of the flexible furlough scheme on July 1.

It said that HMRC had updated its guidance on September 11 to apply to claims made from September 14, adding a new subheading: “Calculating the number of working and furloughed hours for an employee that comes off furlough or flexible furlough partway through a claim period.”

The guidance new states: “If your employee stops being furloughed or flexibly furloughed partway through a claim period, when calculating the number of furloughed hours you can claim for, make sure you:

only calculate the employee’s usual hours up to the last day of furlough, instead of to the end of the claim period

do not include any working hours after the last day of furlough.”

According to the ICAEW, HMRC has clarified that employers do not need to amend claims made prior to September 14, but they should use this calculation for any claims from that date.

Updated guidance of how to claim has also been added to ‘example 3.3’ of the HMRC’s guidance.

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