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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Extension

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended, just hours before it had been due to close to be replaced by the new Job Support Scheme.

The extended CJRS will operate on similar terms to those in place in August 2020. CJRS grants will cover 80 per cent of a furloughed employee’s usual wages, capped at £2,500 a month, while employers will be required to cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions. They will not be required to contribute to employees’ wages, as had been required in September and October.

Flexible furlough arrangements will also be permitted under the extended scheme. This means furloughed employees will be able to work reduced hours, paid by their employer in full, while the employer can claim a CJRS grant in respect of 80 per cent of the pay for usual hours not worked.

Crucially, neither the employer nor the employee needs to have used the CJRS previously to use the extended scheme.  The scheme is open to all employees for whom a Real Time Information (RTI) submission had been made on or before 30 October 2020. Previously, the scheme had only been open for employees reported on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 and who had been furloughed for at least three weeks before 1 July 2020.

The scheme will otherwise operate as it has done previously and will be open to employees on any type of contract. Employers will also be able to top-up employee wages above the value of CJRS grant if they wish to do so.

Employers will need to agree full furlough or flexible furlough arrangements with employees in accordance with employment law and their contracts of employment.

Full guidance on the extended scheme is expected to be published imminently.

The extension of the CJRS means that the introduction of the JSS Open and JSS Closed on 1 November has been postponed until the CJRS closes.

These arrangements apply to the whole of the UK.