Government Extends the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Written by Lucy Churchill, Senior Associate at Spire Solicitors LLP.

Following the latest government announcement on Saturday 31st October, the Job Support Scheme (JSS) has been put on hold and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended instead.

The CJRS was initially introduced in March with the aim to reduce the number of people being made redundant. So far it has helped 9.6million people who were unable to work as a result of the pandemic.

Under the terms of the latest extension, the government will pay 80% of the employee’s salary with a cap of £2,500, and the employers will only be responsible for the National Insurance and pension contributions. This makes the scheme operate in the same way as it did in August.

As before, it will also be possible to flexibly furlough employees so they can work part-time hours. Employers will need to confirm working patterns in order to claim and will need to confirm the hours in writing to the employee.

To be eligible for the CJRS, employees need to have been on an employer’s PAYE payroll before midnight on 30th October 2020. Employers will also still be able to choose to top up employee wages if they wish.

At the time of writing, the Treasury has confirmed  the CJRS will remain open until December 2020,  and presumably will be extended, if necessary, to coincide with the lifting of the second lockdown in England.

What other help is available?

The government is also giving firms:

  • £1,500 for every out-of-work 16-24-year-old given a “high quality” six-month work placement.
  • £2,000 for every under-25 apprentice taken on until the end of January or £1,500 for over 25’s.
  • The grant for self-employed people affected has also been doubled to 40% of profits, with a maximum grant of £3,750 over a three-month period.
  • Work premises forced to close in England are also to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

This is a brief overview of the government support available to businesses. If you need any further guidance or HR and employment advice, please contact Lucy Churchill on 01603 677077 or