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UK Government Extends Coronavirus Job Support Scheme Through 30 September 2021

March 05, 2021

On 3 March 2021, the UK government confirmed the continuation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) through the end of September 2021. The CJRS was due to end on 30 April 2021 and has, so far, supported more than 11.2 million employees since its inception in March 2020.

The extension goes beyond the United Kingdom’s timetabled “road map” out of lockdown from 21 June 2021 and, in light of this, the government has introduced additional employer contributions in the final months of the CJRS.

DETAILS OF EXTENDED CJRS

The CJRS will be available for an additional five months, from May through September 2021.

Employees will continue to receive the following:

  • 80% of their salary for hours not worked (up to a maximum of £2,500), paid by the UK government
  • National Insurance and pension contributions (for all of their salary, whether the hours are worked or not), paid by their employer

The UK government will require further contributions to be made by employers from July. In addition to National Insurance contributions and pension costs, employers will need to contribute toward employees’ furloughed salaries at the following rates:

  • 10% in July
  • 20% in August
  • 20% in September

May

June

July

August

September

Government contribution: Wages for hours not worked

80% up to £2,500

80% up to £2,500

70% up to £2,187.50

60% up to £1,875

60% up to £1,875

Employer contribution: Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Employer contribution wages for hours not worked

No

No

10% up to £312.50

20% up to £625

20% up to £625

For hours not worked, employee receives

80% up to £2,500 per month

80% up to £2,500 per month

80% up to £2,500 per month

80% up to £2,500 per month

80% up to £2,500 per month

 

Employers can choose to top up their employees’ wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at the employers’ own expense.

The additional contributions represent a gradual phasing out of the CJRS, which, during this five-month extension period, is estimated to cost the government at least £10 billion more.

EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE ELIGIBILITY

All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes are eligible for the CJRS.

All employees who have been on their employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 30 October 2020 can qualify for the CJRS for periods ending on or before 30 April 2021. For periods on or after 1 May 2021, the same applies for employees who were employed on or before 2 March 2021.

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CONTACTS

If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

London
Matthew Howse
Pulina Whitaker
Louise Skinner
Lee Harding

Trainee solicitor Christina Lewes contributed to this LawFlash.