38% of businesses confirm that the delay to publication of CJRS guidance hindered their planning processes

19 November 2020

The announcement relating to the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was initially made by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on 31 October 2020, who confirmed that it would run for an additional month, through November 2020. On 5 November 2020, Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, then stated that it would, in fact, be open until the end of March 2021.

The dates on which the announcements were made did not give payroll professionals much time to prepare for the changes, and they would have been expecting to implement the Job Support Scheme (JSS) from 1 November 2020, but this has now been postponed due to the extension to the CJRS.

The CIPP’s Policy and research team wanted to ask how the changes to Government measures have affected businesses, and so posted a question on the News Online page of the CIPP website, which asked:

“The extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was announced with little to no preparation time for payroll departments. How have the changes to Government measures to help businesses deal with coronavirus affected you?”

The most popular answer highlighted the fact that the delay to the guidance on the topic of the extension to the CJRS meant that businesses could not plan effectively, as full guidance was not published until 10 November 2020.

Conversely, 25% of respondents confirmed that they welcome the introduction of the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as it will help to save a number of jobs and keep the business afloat. This shows quite a prominent divide between those who are thankful for the extension to the scheme, and those who have been hindered by the late delivery of guidance on the topic.

Interestingly, 23% of answers revealed that there was no intention to use the extended CJRS within businesses, so the fast-paced rate at which support measures changed did not have a significant impact on those companies. Lower response rates were observed for those who stated that they were relying on payment of the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) in February 2021 (7%), which has, like the JSS, been postponed for now. 3% indicated that there had been an increased administrative burden due to planned redundancies which no longer need to happen. 2% selected the ‘Other’ option, and an email was received into the Policy inbox which confirmed that a member felt that the extension of the CJRS was welcomed by the business, however, there is now a recruitment freeze in that business, but it was hoped that the extension to the scheme will serve to prevent job losses.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.