Key updates to CJRS guidance

28 January 2021

On 26 January 2021, some key updates were made to the guidance pages that discuss the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). In addition to this, the information relating to claim dates at the top of each of the relevant pages has been updated to confirm that claims for periods relating to January 2021 must be submitted by 15 February 2021, as the deadline for claims relating to December 2020 has now passed.

Check if your employer can use the CJRS

The guidance here has been updated with a link to show the latest data relating to employers who have made a claim through the CJRS, for periods commencing on or after 1 December 2020. There is also a link directing individuals on how to set up a Personal Tax Account, which, from February 2021, can be used to view any claims that have been made on their behalf.

Additionally, the section on complaints has been updated to reorder HMRC contact, and to discuss the complaints process where individuals do not meet the eligibility criteria due to a HMRC error, or unreasonable delays caused by HMRC.

Check if you can claim for your employee’s wages through the CJRS

This guidance page has also been updated to reflect the complaints procedure, where eligibility criteria has not been met as a result of action (or inaction) by HMRC.

A new link has been provided to guidance relating to the right to object about HMRC publishing employer details. The information provided confirms that HMRC will not publish details about CJRS claims, where evidence is given to demonstrate that the publication could result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to:

  • Claimants or anyone living with them
  • An individual associated with a business, or anyone living with them. This could include:
    • An employee
    • A director, officer or employee of the company
    • A partner, officer or employee of the partnership
    • A member or employee of a limited liability partnership
    • A settlor, trustee or beneficiary of a trust

Agents cannot submit requests on behalf of their clients, and the business must do it themselves. Where HMRC is making a decision on the submission, no details will be published until a decision has been made, and the relevant employer subsequently informed.

In order to submit a request, the following information is required:

  • Employer Government Gateway ID and password
  • Employer PAYE reference number
  • Business name
  • Contact details

Evidence must be provided that shows why claimants feel they are at serious risk, and could include:

  • Written details of why publication of an employer name could result in the threat of violence or intimidation
  • A police incident number if a claimant has already been threatened or attacked
  • Photos of a previous threat or attack
  • Evidence of possible disruption or targeting
  • Any other material to support the request

Only one request is required, and this will cover all claim periods commencing on or after 1 December 2020. Once a request has been submitted, a confirmation email will be sent, and HMRC will review the application, and contact the claimants with its decision.

Steps to take before calculating your claim using the CJRS

New sections have been added to the guidance to include the ‘averaging calculation method’ and the ‘calendar lookback calculation method’. In terms of the ‘lookback method’, a useful table has been provided, to help claimants establish which period they look back to, for a variety of claim months:

Claim Month

Lookback period

November 2020

November 2019

December 202

December 2019

January 2021

January 2020

February 2021

February 2020

March 2021

March 2019

April 2021

April 2019

The guidance, including examples of how to perform calculations under the CJRS has also been updated to provide a scenario relating to the ‘lookback’ period. In addition to this, so has the information page on calculating how much can be claimed via the CJRS.

New guidance pages have been created as follows:

Employers who have claimed through the CJRS

Ask HMRC not to publish your CJRS claim details


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.