Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended to 31 March 2021
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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended to 31 March 2021

On 31 October 2020, the Government announced an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“Scheme”) (and, as a result, the postponement of the Job Support Scheme) until the end of March 2021.

Since then, various documents have been published by the Government and it is now confirmed that:

  1. in order to qualify for the (extended) Scheme, employers must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee; and
  2. if employees were on an employers’ payroll on 23 September 2020 (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23 September) and were made redundant or stopped working for them afterwards, they could also qualify for the scheme but only if they were re-employed.

Here is a summary of the key points:

  • businesses will have flexibility to use the extended Scheme flexibly (as they have been since 1 July) for any amount of time and shift pattern and will still be permitted to furlough employees full-time;
  • employees can be furloughed if they are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding) but that does not mean they have to be furloughed;
  • employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked (up to a cap of £2,500 per month);
  • there is currently no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked;
  • employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked;
  • the position will be reviewed in January 2021 to determine whether the employer’s contributions should be increased (depending on the stability of the economy at that time);
  • full guidance is due to be published by the Government on 10 November 2020

As a result of the extension of the Scheme, the Government also announced that the Jobs Retention Bonus will not be paid in February 2021 as originally planned, and the government will instead redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time.

What employers should do now:

  1. check if your employees are eligible for the Scheme;
  2. agree working hours with your employees, so they know if they are furloughed fully or part-time during November and later months;
  3. keep records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC need to check it.

For more information and guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furlough, please contact a member of our Employment team on: 01782 652300 or through our online contact form at:

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