Extension to the CJRS – the scheme will now close at the end of April 2021

17 December 2020

Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended from the end of March 2021, until the end of April 2021, and the Government will continue to contribute 80% towards wages until that point.

The Chancellor said:

“Our package of support for businesses and workers continues to be one of the most generous and effective in the world – helping our economy to recover and protecting livelihoods across the country.

We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable businesses to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes, which is why we’re providing certainty and clarity by extending this support, as well as implementing our Plan for Jobs.”

To date, the CJRS has seen 9.6 million jobs furloughed across over one million businesses, since it was first introduced back in March 2020.

Initially, the level of support from the Government was due to be reviewed to establish the level of support to be provided from January – March 2021, but it appears that the grants will be paid out at 80% of the salaries of employees for hours not worked until the end of April. Employers are therefore required to pay wages for any hours worked and the associated employer on-costs, along with the employer National Insurance (NI) contributions and minimum auto-enrolment contributions for any hours not worked.

The eligibility criteria for the scheme remains unchanged.

By extending the CJRS until the end of April, and advising the change now, this gives businesses sufficient time ahead of the 45-day redundancy notice period, with the Budget (to be held on 3 March 2021) outlining the next support measures more than 45 days prior to the new end date of the scheme.


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.