Government support for jobs and the self-employed is extended into 2021

The government has just announced further extensions to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the furlough scheme, and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

For further details on how the CJRS operates, see some guidance Job retention scheme.

The CJRS was recently extended to the end of November to cover the second lockdown in England. Today’s announcement further extends this scheme until the 31 March 2021 for the whole of the UK. Initially, the scheme will continue with the government paying employees’ wages of up to 80% for hours not worked, subject to a cap of £2,500 per month. The employer will be required to pay employers’ National Insurance contributions and pension contributions. The government intends to review the situation in January and may then require employers to contribute more for the remaining period of the scheme. As with the previous extension, it will continue to be possible to flexibly furlough employees where they are able to work some of their usual hours.

Employees who were on their employer’s payroll on 23 September but have already been made redundant or who have stopped working for their employer after that date maybe re-employed and furloughed under the CJRS.

The Job Retention Bonus has been withdrawn but a similar incentive will be put in place following the end of the CJRS.

In relation to SEISS, the first grant of the extension, which will cover the months of November 2020 to January 2021, will now be paid at 80% of average trading profits for all three months, subject to a cap of £7,500. The level of the second grant of the extension which covers the months February to April 2021 has not yet been announced.

For further details on eligibility for the CJRS and SEISS please see our earlier updates: