Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – CJRS

Update 14/09/2021

Furlough payments will end on the 30th September 2021.

September claims should be submitted for payment before the 14th October. The reclaim rate will be 60% up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

Going forward, where you still envisage issues with work availability, you may find it necessary to consider reviewing contracts of employment in terms of reduction in working hours, part time work, paying on an hourly basis, or even redundancy.

If you introduce shorter time working, or ask staff not to attend work for a given period of time, in both these scenarios assuming you retain their normal contracts of employment, you will need to consider making lay off payments.

Lay off pay is payable at £30 per day gross for up to 5 days in any 3 month period.
The payment is not reclaimable from HMRC but is counted as a statutory payment, so you would have an obligation to pay it should the need arise.

Any changes to employment contracts or redundancy will require the correct procedures to be followed, including appropriate consultation with affected staff.
Please contact a HR professional before any undertaking if you are not sure what you need to do.

Update 03/03/2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of September 2021.

The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, up to the end of June 2021.
For periods in July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50.
In August and September 2021, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.

Employers will need to continue to pay their furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. This means, for periods between July and September, employers will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grants themselves. Employers can also top up wages above the 80% if they wish, but they are not required to do so.

For periods from 1 May 2021 onwards, employers will be able to claim for eligible employees who were on employers’ PAYE payrolls on 2 March 2021.

Update 17/12/2020

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages.

Previously running from 1st November 2020 to 31st March 2021.

Same rules as per 04/11/2020 still apply.


Update 04/11/2020

CJRS has been extended from 1st November 2020 and will over rule the JSS that was meant to take over.

  • Employees will receive 80% of salaries for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
  • Employer to pay Employer NICs and minimum pension contributions.
  • Neither employee or employers need to have previously used the CJRS to benefit from the extension.
  • A bonus of £1000 still paid to employers for each previously furloughed employee brought back to work and continuously employed to 31st Jan 2021.
  • Employees must have been on payroll with an RTI submission made to HMRC before 30th October 2020.
  • The scheme will run from 1st November 2020 to 31st March 2021.


Further developments regarding  the flexible JRS/Furlough scheme have now been announced by HMRC, effective from 1st July.

As this is a little more complex than the current scheme, we have answered the most common questions below.

Q:   I don’t know yet when I will re-open my business. Can I continue to furlough my staff as normal into July and possibly beyond?

A:    Yes of course you can. You don’t have to ask your staff to work in July if you don’t think this will be possible, and you’ll still be able to claim as before


Q:   I’m thinking of putting a couple of my staff on furlough next week. One has been furloughed  previously, the other has never been furloughed. Can I do this?

A:    This is where things can get complicated, so here goes;

If you have an employee not yet furloughed, ever, and you want to furlough them now, the answer is no, you can’t include them in the current furlough scheme – and you won’t be able to include them in the scheme from July onwards either.

If you have previously furloughed an employee, you can include them in the flexible scheme from July, but you’ll have to wait until then to furlough them again.

This is because the cut-off date for the minimum furlough period of three weeks has now passed.


Q :  Am I allowed to create my own furlough rota, or is there a certain number of days I have to furlough staff before I can reclaim?

A:    Yes you can create your own customised rota; the scheme is entirely flexible to suit you.

Each furlough claim period begins from the earliest date in the month your staff were furloughed, e.g. 1st July, to the last date in the month they were furloughed, e.g. 31st July

A claim period must be no less than 1 calendar week per month

To use an extreme example, if your staff were furloughed from 1st July, and then you decided to return them all to full time working from the 7th July for the rest of the month, then you can’t claim for the  days they were furloughed, as the whole period is only six days – less than a calendar week


Q :  I don’t understand – I plan to have all my staff in work on the 31st as it’s a Friday so hopefully busy. Does that mean the claim period finishes earlier? Does this mean I can’t claim any furlough in August because no one was furloughed on the last day of July?

A:    The above was just an example; your claim period for each month ends on the last day any of your staff were furloughed.

This doesn’t mean you are not allowed to claim again in the following month. Under this flexible scheme, each month is treated as a separate entity


Q :  What do I pay my staff when they are working?

A:    You would pay them their usual rate for the day if they are on a fixed monthly salary – you can also include non-discretionary or contractual overtime, non-discretionary bonuses  and non-discretionary commission if this usually forms part of their regular pay

As a rule of thumb, the daily rate will be the same rate that was used to set your furlough payments previously, back in March/April

For hourly rate staff, we would use the average pay we calculated their furlough payments back in March/April


Q :  Will the £2500 cap still apply for the periods when staff are furloughed?

A:    Yes.


Q :  Can I still top up the furlough pay as before?

A:    Yes.


Q :  What if an employee goes sick?

A:    They are treated as per the normal rules. In other words, SSP overrides furlough, unless you choose to pay them something different. Same applies to maternity pay – same rules, same statutory payments.


 Q :  What about staff holidays?

A:    Please see my previous email about this.  You can request staff take a certain amount of days before a given deadline provided you follow the 2:1 rule.

Days are paid at the usual full pay rate, but you can still claim the 80%


Q:   What is the best way to approach this as an employer come July?

A:    Because the furlough calculations after the 1st July will be a little more complex – HMRC have said they will expect furlough claims from 1st July to be based on furloughed hours rather than straight working days – it will be helpful if you can plan your rotas for the month ahead as early as possible.

This will help me to work out your furlough claim in advance of processing the payroll, and therefore minimise any delay in submitting your claim.


 Q:   When do I start contributing towards my own furlough claims?

A:    August is when you’ll start to pay the employers pension (and possibly NIC’s depending on where you are with your employment allowance)

September and October also see an incremental reduction in the actual claim rate, going from 80%, down to 70% and 60% respectively


The following updates were announced on the 29th May to ease employees back into work.

2020 Government Pays Company /Employer Pays Additional Information
June – 80% of employees wages up to £2500.
– All employers national insurance covered.
– All Pension covered
– Nothing – Scheme closes to new entrants from 30th June, therefore the final date for employees to be furloughed is 10th June.
July – 80% of employees wages up to £2500.
– All employers national insurance covered.
– All Pension covered
– Pay for the hours that their  Part Time employees are working – topped up to 80% of full time wage, to total of £2,500 by government – Furloughed staff can be made part time employees
– Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.
August – 80% of employees wages up to £2500. – Pay for the hours that their employees are working
– Employers  National Insurance.
– Minimum Pension Contributions
September – 70% of employees wages up to £2,190 – Pay for the hours that their employees are working
– Employers  National Insurance.
– Minimum Pension Contributions
– 10% of furloughed Employee Salary
October – 60% of employees wages up to £1,875 – Pay for the hours that their employees are working
– Employers  National Insurance.
– Minimum Pension Contributions
– 20% of furloughed Employee Salary

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

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