Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Update

Nov 13 2020

There have been a lot of announcements via different channels following the Chancellor’s announcement extending the CJRS, so we have limited ourselves here to the significant changes that are now clear. Despite the initially conflicting news of changes taking affect as of 1st November, the key point is the CJRS has been re-commenced so as to leave no gap between the end of the previous version and the start of the extended scheme … with much of the previous guidance still relevant.

As with all our communications we take considerable care to ensure they are accurate, but we do recommend readingthe appropriate government website updates as well. If you have any questions about how to apply operational changes to meet the new requirements, then please contact us.

Please note: Before turning to the key points of the extended scheme, there are some important deadlines for you to consider:

  • The first set of official guidance for employers on the new extended scheme (see index at the end of this communication) has just been published on 10th November.
  • Claims under the new extended scheme (which may be submitted before payroll is run) can be made, using the same file format and same portal URL & process as before, from 8am on 11th November.
  • Any employer that wishes to use the extended CJRS for an employee must (as before) issue a furlough agreement. Where such an agreement is made retrospectively (in order to take effect from 1st Nov) this will only be valid for the purposes of a CJRS claim as long as it is put in place no later than 13th November.
  • Any claims made by an employer for October, under the (now closed) CJRS v2, must be submitted by 30th November.
  • Any claims made by an employer for November, under the new extended CJRS, must be submitted by 14th December … and claims relating to each subsequent month must be submitted by day 14 of the following month (or the next working day if the 14th is on a weekend).


  • CJRS (aka the Furlough scheme) will now remain open until the end of March 2021 for all parts of the UK, with the govt. continuing to help pay people’s wages up to 80% of their normal amount (up to a cap of £2,500/month) for hours not worked.
  • The level of the grant will mirror levels available under theCJRSin August 2020, so the employer will pay NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee does not work, and should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.The grant received by the employer must be paid to the employee in full.
  • As before, employers are still able to choose to top-up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
  • Although this level of grant will apply to all claim periods running up to 31st January 2021, the policy will be reviewed in January to decide if economic circumstances have improved enough to ask employers to contribute more in the remaining months.
  • Employers small or large, including charitable or non-profit organisations, are eligible for the extended CJRS.
  • Flexible furloughing will continue to be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing. Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period.Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as under previous versions of theCJRS – but see later section here.
  • Although there is no minimum furlough period, when claiming theCJRSgrant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days. Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
  • For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax andNICsdue on those amounts.
  • Starting from December, HMRC will publish details of employers who make claims under extended CJRS(as part of fraud prevention)
  • Although this extended CJRS will operate with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs, there will be a short period whilst the legal terms of the scheme are changed and the system updated so businesses will be paid in arrears during that period.
  • The Job Support Scheme (JSS), which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the CJRS ends; and the Job Retention Bonus (JRB), scheduled for the end of January 2021, has been cancelled.

Who is eligible?


  • All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used theCJRS.
  • To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee in writing that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed; and if that agreement is retrospective (so as to be applicable from 1st November 2020) then if must be in place by 13th November 2020.
  • The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case forCJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted.All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.


  • To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, an employee must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll and be within an RTI submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC made between 20th March and 30th October 2020.
  • However, if an employee’s fixed-term contract has not already expired it can be extended or renewed, so you can put the employee on furlough as long as they meet the above eligibility criteria. Also, if an employee is transferred to a new employer under TUPE on/after 1st September 2020 and was on either the old or new employer’s PAYE payroll on 30th October and was included within an RTI submission made by either employer notifying payment for that employee to HMRC made between 20th March and 30th October 2020 - then the new employer can include this employee in its claims.
  • One other exception is … if an employee was on the employers’ payroll on 23rd September 2020 and was included within an RTI submission made by the employer notifying payment for that employee to HMRC made between 20th March and 30th October 2020 but was made redundant or stopped working for the employer (e.g. due to the end of a fixed-term contract) after 23rd September - then that employee can still qualify for the scheme if they are re-employed.
  • Employees can be on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
  • Updated guidance is not yet available regarding whether employers should be eligible to claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods … but this should be published by the end of November.

Overview of calculation - changes:

  • For employees that have previously been furloughed, employers must use the same calculations as before to determine their 'reference period' and 'usual hours'.
  • Whereas for employees not previously furloughed, these alternative calculations must be used for those items:
    • Reference Period - for employees on fixed pay, use their last pay period ending on or before 30th October 2020 to determine their full pay.
    • But for employee on variable pay or hours, use the average payable in this employment during tax year 2020-21 up to the day before the furlough begins.
    • Usual Hours - for employees contracted for a fixed number of hours and whose pay does not vary according to the number of hours worked, start with the contracted hours worked (ignoring any reduction due to annual leave or sickness or family related statutory leave) in their last pay period on or before 30th October 2020; then divide by number of calendar days in the repeating working pattern (including non-working days), and multiply by the number of calendar days in the pay period (or partial pay period) for which you are claiming - and round the result to a whole number.
    • But for employees who work variable hours, calculate the average number of hours worked from 6th April 2020 up to the employee’s first day spent on furlough on/after 1st November 2020 (including any hours of leave for which the employee was paid their full contracted rate such as annual leave, and any hours worked as ‘overtime’ if the pay for those hours was not discretionary) ... before applying the pro-rating rules for the particular claim period.

Overview of making a claim - changes:

  • No changes have, as yet, been announced regarding the file format for a claim – and the same portal URL & process as before should be used.
  • However the deadlines for submissions have been considerably tightened … from 1st November 2020, claims must be submitted (by 11.59 pm) 14 calendar days after the month for which you’re claiming (unless this date falls on a weekend in which case the claims should be submitted on the next working day).
  • Also, for claims relating to periods after 1st November 2020, you will only be able to increase the amount of your claim if you amend the claim within 28 calendar days after the month to which the claim relates (unless this falls on a weekend and then it is the next working day).

GOV.UK guidance on CJRS (including updates for the extended CJRS from 01/112020):

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