Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – A Quick Further Update

February 08, 2021

A further update to the HM Treasury Direction concerning the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) was published on 26 January 2021 making some further adjustments to the rules governing its operation.


The CJRS is currently due to continue until 30 April 2021 although there is ongoing debate about whether it should be extended for a further period. The Treasury Direction is the legal basis for the operation of the CJRS. The adjustments made in this latest update to the Treasury Direction are relatively minor and in part reflect the extended duration of the CJRS which will by April 2021 have been in operation for a year. The updated Treasury Direction leaves unchanged the amounts for which employers can make claims under the CJRS.

Reference Dates

The amount employers can claim under the CJRS in respect of a furloughed worker is based on the worker’s reference salary. In respect of claims for the March and April 2021 claim periods, the reference salary to be used for employees - other than fixed rate employees - is amended to be March and April 2019 rather than March and April 2020. This change avoids the furlough pay of a worker for March/April 2021 being based on his or her reduced furlough pay if the individual was furloughed in March/April 2020. Likewise, the determination of "usual hours" for the March and April 2021 claim periods is amended so that the relevant "reference month" is now March and April 2019 respectively.

Claim and Amendment Deadlines

The following changes have been made to the deadlines for claims and amendments to claims made by employers in respect of February, March and April 2021:

  • For the February 2021 claim period, the deadline for claims to be made is now 15 March 2021 and for amendments the deadline is 29 March 2021; 
  • For the March 2021 claim period, the deadline for claims to be made is now 14 April 2021 and for amendments the deadline is 28 April 2021; and
  •  For the April 2021 claim period, the deadline for claims to be made is now 14 May 2021 and for amendments the deadline is 28 May 2021.

Publication of Claimant Employers Claiming under the CJRS

On 26 January 2021, HM Revenue & Customs published the names of the employers which have made claims under the CJRS in December 2020. It is understood that from February HMRC will also issue details of the value of each employer’s claim within bands (e.g., £1 to £10,000, £10,001 to £25,000, and so on) and company numbers for limited companies and LLPs. This will potentially increase scrutiny of employers’ use of the CJRS and the public funds they have received as a result. Employers can apply to have their details withheld from publication if they can demonstrate that publication of their participation in the CJRS would result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to anyone associated with their business.

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