16th April 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Update

Another day, another set of changes and clarifications to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Most importantly the eligibility date has been changed from 28 February to 19 March 2020.

Yesterday HM Treasury issued a Direction to HMRC clarifying several elements of the CJRS.

We’ve included some of the most important below:

  • PAYE employees on the payroll who were employed on 19 March 2020 can be furloughed. The guidance had previously stated the date as 28 February 2020. This potentially brings many more employees within the scope of the CJRS;
  • the CJRS is not limited to employees who you’d otherwise have made redundant. So you can use it for any employees who are furloughed “by reason of circumstances as a result of coronavirus or coronavirus disease”;
  • you and the employee must have agreed in writing that the employee will stop doing any work for you.  The guidance only required notification but this Direction requires written agreement.  Companies furloughing must agree the furlough at board level by way of board minute; and
  • you must disregard anything which is not “regular salary or wages”  including any performance related bonus or discretionary payments.