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On 5 November 2020, the Government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) would be extended until 31 March 2021. On 10 November 2020, guidance regarding the extended scheme was published.

The guidance consists of various documents including:

The guidance confirms that, for the period from 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021, the Government will pay 80% of employees’ wages, up to a cap of £2500 per month, for hours not worked.

It is also confirmed that:

  • Employers will be able to claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020. A Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of the employee must have been made between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.
  • Employers can claim for employees who were made redundant or stopped working on or after 23 September 2020 if they are then rehired. An RTI submission notifying payment in respect of the employee must have been made between 20 March 2020 and 23 September 2020.
  • Employers do not need to have previously made a claim for an employee before 30 October 2020 in order to claim for periods from 1 November 2020.
  • Employers can furlough employees for any amount of time, on any work pattern.
  • There is no maximum number of employees that employers can claim for from 1 November 2020.
  • If an employee is to be retrospectively furloughed from 1 November 2020, this must be agreed in writing by 13 November 2020. A written record of the agreement must be kept for five years.
  • From December 2020, HMRC will publish employer names and company registration numbers (for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships) regarding those who have claimed under the scheme for the month of December onwards.

The guidance, however, suggests that the Government are debating whether employers should be able to claim for employees who are serving contractual or statutory notice periods. This change in approach is set to apply to claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020. Further guidance is to be published in late November.

All guidance relating to the CJRS can be found here.

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