Just days after announcing that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) would continue from 1 November until 2 December 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has today extended the scheme again. The CJRS has now been extended to 31 March 2021.
This further extension reflects evidence that the economic effects of lockdown for businesses are much longer lasting than the duration of any restrictions. Under the extended scheme the government will pay 80% of wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500, and employers will pay National Insurance contributions and pension contributions for those hours (as was the case in August 2020). The scheme will be reviewed in January 2021 to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to increase contributions.
The Job Retention Bonus will not now be paid in February, its policy intent having fallen away. However, a new retention incentive will be deployed at the appropriate time
Employees who were made redundant or stopped working after 23 September 2020 can be re-employed and claimed for.
It remains to be seen precisely when, if ever, we see the Job Support Scheme be deployed.