Government Extends Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Cut-off Date

Thursday, 16 April, 2020

Three weeks have been added to the eligibility date for the Chancellor's furlough scheme for workers who have been 'mothballed' during the coronavirus lockdown on businesses.

The Government has confirmed that thousands more employees across the country will now qualify for support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after the eligibility date was extended to 19 March 2020. In order to protect against potential fraudulent claims, individuals originally had to be employed on or before 28 February 2020.

The CJRS is part of a package of measures announced by the Chancellor to protect individuals and businesses, including support for the self-employed and steps to give businesses access to cash to pay rent, salaries or suppliers. Through the CJRS, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month.

Following a review of the delivery system, and to ensure the scheme helps as many people as possible, new guidance has been published, confirming the eligibility date has been extended to the day before the scheme was announced.

Employers can claim for furloughed workers that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through a Real Time Information (RTI) submission, notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.

The Government believes this change makes the scheme more wide-reaching, while keeping the substantial fraud risks under control and is expected to benefit over 200,000 employees.

HMRC expects the scheme to be fully operational during the week commencing 20 April 2020.

Employers who believe they are eligible for support can find out more online.

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