CJRS: calculations for claim periods relating to February 2021

22 January 2021

HMRC has confirmed that, despite the fact that February 2020 lasted for 29 days, as last year was a leap year, this will have no impact on the calculation of claims made under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) relating to February 2021.

For employees whose pay varies, claimants should calculate 80% of the higher of:

  • The wages earned in the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • The average wages payable in the tax year 2019 to 2020

This could potentially have meant more complex calculations for claims relating to February 2021, when trying to establish what wages were earned in February of last year, but HMRC has since confirmed its stance.

This is in recognition of the disruption that pro-rated calculations could have caused for both employers and agents, who are being kept extremely busy ensuring that workers are paid both correctly and on time, in addition to dealing with processing CJRS claims.

Claims relating to February 2021 for employees with either variable pay or monthly pay can be based on either the full amount earned in February 2020, or 28/29ths of that amount to account for the leap year. The resounding message is that HMRC will not challenge either approach.

This decision was based on feedback from the CIPP and other stakeholders who agreed that the best approach would not be to expect those making claims to have to pro-rata February 2020’s pay based on the extra calendar day, which fell on a Saturday, making it a non-working day for many.


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.