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The Job Retention Scheme (JRS) has been extended to the end of March 2021. The JRS is open to all employers who run a PAYE scheme and to all employee’s on payroll before October 30th 2020. 

What does this mean for DP employers?

The burning question is whether the JRS scheme applies to DP employers. Those of you with sharp memories will recall that this debate raged during the early part of the first lockdown and we only received guidance a few days before the JRS scheme stopped taking new applications. 

Key Workers

It must be noted that Personal Care Assistants / Carers / PA’s are deemed as key workers. DP employers are also publicly funded;
Care services, including the role of PAs and carers, remain a vital part of the response to COVID-19. We therefore expect employers, including direct payment holders, to keep the vast majority of their staff working to maintain these services. This is why published guidance on the CJRS states that employers in receipt of public funding are “expected to continue employing staff”.

What about admin fee's?

We have discussed the process of applying for the JRS with a number of support organisations and payroll companies. Some have already processed DP JRS payments but only to a handful of clients. Most have stated that they will need to charge an additional admin fee where they are processing JRS payments. 

Employers Responsibilities

Employers must have a confirmed with their employees in writing that they have been furloughed and:

  • make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
  • keep a written record of the agreement for five years
  • keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (i.e. not working)

The employee does not have to provide a written response and you do not need to place all your employees on furlough.

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