Extension of CJRS: Furlough scheme changed for new lockdown

Treasury has announced the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until December, with furloughed employees set to receive 80% of their salary for hours not worked and businesses asked only to cover national insurance and employer pension contributions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown for England on 31 October. The new lockdown will run from 5 November until 1 December.

The Prime Minister also confirmed the extension of CJRS for a further month.

The CJRS was supposed to have ended after being scaled back to cover 60% of salaries during October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the scheme will retain the flexible element. However, the level of government support will return to the levels given in August. Furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

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Employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020 to be eligible for CJRS under this extension. This means a real-time information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before that date.

Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree on any working arrangements with employees, and as with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.

In a statement, the Treasury said:

‘The government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.’

The Treasury also confirmed that the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will not start until the CJRS closes. the Job Support Scheme (JSS) was due to launch on 1 November.

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