Update: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended to 31 March 2021

HM Treasury has today (5th November 2020) announced a further extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to 31 March 2021.

Under the extended scheme the Government will pay 80% of wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500, and employers will pay National Insurance contributions and pension contributions for those hours (as was the case in August 2020).

The scheme will be reviewed in January 2021 to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to increase contributions. The Job Retention Bonus will not now be paid in February but it’s expected that a retention incentive will be deployed at a later time.

Details of the newly extended CJRS are contained in an HMRC policy paper, together with an economic support factsheet. The policy paper sets out updated details:

  • on eligibility criteria for employers and employees;
  • what employers will need in order to claim; and
  • updated information on reference data to calculate those claims.

Employers will have 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, and will be able to vary the hours worked in agreement with the employee.

Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under the CJRS to make a claim. An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on its PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. Employees who were made redundant or stopped working after 23 September 2020 can be re-employed and claimed for.

Link to announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-extends-furlough-to-march-and-increases-self-employed-support

Link to HMRC policy paper: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extension-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/extension-of-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Need to know more?

If you have any queries about this or any other matter regarding employment law, please do not hesitate to contact Carmel Sunley.

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