The government is extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which was due to end on 31st October, until 31st March 2021.
In light of this it should be noted that the new Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on 1st November, has been postponed.
In essence the CJRS scheme rules will remain unchanged except where HMRC states otherwise.
For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked.
Businesses will have the flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full time.
Employers will not be required to make employer contributions to wages for hours not worked. However, employers will be required to cover National Insurance Contributions and employer pension contributions.
The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
Employers who can claim under the CJRS extension
- Employers do not need to have used the CJRS previously
- Employers across the UK can claim, whether their businesses are open or closed
The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. All other previous CJRS eligibility requirements also apply to these employers.
Employees furloughed under the CJRS extension
Core employee eligibility criteria
Employers can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
Employers will have the flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time or shift pattern, furloughing employees on either a full-time or part-time basis. They will also be able to vary the hours worked in agreement with the employee.
As under the current CJRS rules, employees can be on any type of employment contract.
Employees not claimed for previously under CJRS
Employees do not need to have been furloughed under the CJRS previously.
For employees that meet the eligibility criteria, and were previously furloughed, employers must use the same calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours as CJRS.
For an employee who meets the criteria of the extended scheme but was not previously eligible for CJRS, the alternative calculations of reference pay and usual hours must be used. For all other employees, employers must use the CJRS calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours.
Employer contributions during the CJRS extension until January will be the same as in August 2020. This means that for hours not worked by their employee, employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions. The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
Employers will have to pay the employee’s wages for the hours they work as normal, as well as employer National Insurance and employer pension contributions.
Employees re-employed by their employer
Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23rd September 2020, who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer afterwards, can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC from 20th March 2020 to 23rd September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
Similarly, an employee who was on a fixed term contract, on the payroll on 23rd September and whose contract expired after 23rd September can be re-employed and claimed for, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met.
When employees are on furlough
As under the CJRS previously, during hours which employees are recorded as being on furlough, they cannot do any work for their employer that makes money or provides services for their employer or any organisation linked or associated with their employer.
- take part in training
- volunteer for another employer or organisation
- work for another employer (if contractually allowed)
For further information and details of the scheme’s operation please visit