Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) Extended

The Government have confirmed an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in a last-minute announcement on Saturday evening in light of a new 4-week national lockdown due to come into force this week.

On 31 October 2020, the Government announced the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in light of the new national lockdown being imposed from Thursday, 5 November. This was due to end on 31 October 2020 and be replaced by the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which has now been placed on hold in favour of the CJRS.

The CJRS will mirror the level of support that was available previously in August 2020, namely the Government will contribute 80% of an employee’s wages (subject to a maximum of £2,500 per month (gross)) whilst employers will pay any National Insurance and pension contributions. Flexible furloughing is also allowed under the extended CJRS, however, employees must be furloughed for a minimum period of 7 consecutive days. Under the Flexible furlough scheme, the Government will pay for 80% of any unworked hours, whilst the employer will continue to pay for the total hours worked.

To be eligible for the CJRS, an employee needs to have been on the employer’s PAYE payroll before 23:59 on 30 October 2020. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have taken advantage of the CJRS in the past, meaning that most employees can now be furloughed even where they were not furloughed previously.

The extended CJRS will run from 1 November 2020 to December 2020. There is no official end date as yet. It is expected that that JSS will start once the CJRS has come to an end.

If you need assistance in relation to the CJRS, please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Collier, Partner & Head of Employment Law on 01204 527777 or