Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) extended to March

6 Nov 2020 Eamonn McKee    Last updated: 20 Nov 2020

CJRS extended to March 2021 image

On 5 November, the Chancellor announced that the Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) will be extended to the end of March 2021. 

More information on the policy announcements can be found in this helpful economic support factsheet.

Employer contributions during the CJRS extension until January will be the same as in August 2020. This means that for hours not worked by their employee, employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions. The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.

Job Retention Bonus (JRB)

The JRB will not be paid in February with a retention incentive redeployed at the appropriate time. The purpose of the JRB was to encourage employers to keep people in work until the end of January. However, as the CJRS is being extended to the end of March, the policy intent of the JRB falls away. 

Job Retention Scheme

The CJRS (also known as the furlough scheme) will remain open until 31 March 2021. For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked.  The guidance for claim periods from February onwards will be published following the Government’s review.

Employer Eligibility

Employers do not need to have used the CJRS previously.

Employers across the UK can claim, whether their businesses are open or closed.

The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. All other previous CJRS eligibility requirements also apply to these employers.

Full details of employers who make claims under the extended CJRS scheme can be found on the HMRC website here.

Employee eligibility

Employees do not need to have been furloughed under the CJRS previously.

Employers can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.

Employers will have flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time or shift pattern, furloughing employees on either a full-time or part-time basis, and will be able to vary the hours worked in agreement with the employee.

As under the current CJRS rules, employees can be on any type of employment contract.

Employees that are re-employed 

Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 (the day before the Job Support Scheme announcement) who were made redundant or stopped working afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for.

This is good news for charities who unfortunately had to make people redundant in Autumn when furlough was tapered down. Those former employees can be re-hired and re-furloughed under this scheme.

Further information

Additional details that apply to CJRS for the period 1 November to 31 January 2021 can be on this policy paper

Full guidance for the CJRS extension is available here (published on 10 November).


HMRC are holding support webinars on the CJRS and flexible furloughing.The webinars provide an overview of the extension of the scheme, how employers will be affected, flexible furloughing, key dates and support available.

This live webinar is offered several times - select the date and time that works best for you.'s picture

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