Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme changes from 1 October: What employers need to know

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme changes from 1 October: What employers need to know
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Wed 30th Sep 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which covers the part of the salaries for furloughed workers during the coronavirus pandemic, changes on 1 October. The scheme ends completely on 31 October and employers must make any final claims for the scheme by 30 November. CJRS will be replaced by the new Job Support Scheme.

From 1‌‌ October, the government will pay 60% of usual wages up to £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.

Furloughed employees must be paid at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work (up to a maximum £2,500 per month) so employers need to fund themselves the difference between this and the government contribution.

The caps are proportional to the hours not worked so if an employee is furloughed for half their usual hours, employers can claim 60% of their usual wages up to £937.50 (half of the £1,875 cap). Employers must make up the remaining 20% to cover the 80% total so they need to pay an employee working half their usual hours up to £1,250 (half of the £2,500 cap).

Employers must also continue to pay furloughed employees' National Insurance and pension contributions from their own funds.

You can calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here.

Businesses that have claimed too much in error

The government has urged employees to make sure each claim is accurate before submitting it, and also check previous claims to avoid penalties for claiming too much.

If you have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

  • 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you or your client are not entitled to

  • 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you or your client were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant

  • 20‌‌ October 2020, if on or before 22 July you or your client received CJRS money you're not entitled to, or if circumstances changed.

If you do not repay the fund, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant.

You can let HMRC know if you've paid too much as part of your next online claim. The system will prompt you to add details if you have received too much. There is more information here.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closed on 31 October 2020. 30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims.​​​​​​ Read the full government guidance here.

**Read a guide to the new Job Support Scheme, which replaces the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, here.

Read a guide to the Job Retention Bonus scheme, which launches in February 2021, here.**

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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