Latest extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: key points for UK employers

5 November 2020 | Applicable law: England and Wales

After announcing on 31 October 2020 that it would be extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ('CJRS') until the end of November 2020, the Government announced on 5 November 2020 a further significant extension to the CJRS, which will now remain in place until 31 March 2021. There will however be a review in January 2021 to determine whether employer contributions should be increased from that point.

This means that the less generous Job Support Scheme will not be introduced for the time being. The Government has also confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus Scheme, intended to reward employers who kept employees on their payrolls until at least 31 January 2021, will not be introduced.

The position after this further announcement is still that:

  • To be eligible for a grant under the extended CJRS, employees must have been on the employer’s PAYE payroll and included in a RTI submission by 23:59 on Friday 30 October 2020. It is not necessary for them to have been furloughed on an earlier date to be eligible under this new extension.

  • Employees who were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer after that date can be re-employed and claimed for.

  • As in August, employees can be furloughed on a full-time, part-time or flexible basis under the extended CJRS.

  • The level of grant will mirror the level in August 2020, ie for the hours that employees do not work:

  1. the Government will pay up to 80% of wages (up to a cap of a gross amount of £2,500); and
  2. employers will pay Employer NICs and pension contributions only.
  • As previously, employers must put in place a furlough agreement with a furloughed employee to be eligible to claim a CJRS grant. These may be retrospective to 1 November 2020, but any retrospective agreement must be entered into no later than 13 November 2020.

  • The Government will be updating the legal terms of the scheme and system, and says businesses will be paid in arrears for the period the scheme is being updated.

Full details, including how to claim under the extended CJRS through an updated claims service, have been promised by 10 November 2020, although some additional detail is included in a policy paper published on 5 November 2020. Employers will be able to make claims from 8.00am on 11 November 2020. We will be updating our more detailed website guidance to reflect these new developments and further details of the scheme as these emerge.

Key dates

23 September 2020 Date on or after which an employee must have been employed in order to be eligible for re-employment and furlough after being made redundant.

30 October 2020 Date on or before which an employee must have been included on the employer's payroll and included in the RTI submission in order to be eligible for furlough.

01 November 2020 Date from which extended CJRS grant can be claimed.

10 November 2020 Date of publication of further guidance.

11 November 2020 First date on which applications for extended CJRS grants can be made.

13 November 2020 Deadline for reaching furlough agreement with furloughed employees.

January 2021 Review of employer contributions to the scheme.

31 March 2021 End of extended CJRS.

For further information, please contact a member of the employment team

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.


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