Update guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Over the course of the past week, many employers have been raising valid concerns in respect of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”), how it will apply and how it can be claimed.

On Saturday 4th April 2020, the government issued updated guidance which provides additional detail on the scheme.  You can access the guidance here.


Some of the additional points now included in the guidance are (sections in blue are lifted direct from the guidance):

  1. Eligibility:  It is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. However, all employers are eligible to claim under the scheme and the government recognises different businesses will face different impacts from coronavirus.
  2. Employees who stopped working for you after 28 February 2020: If you made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 28 February 2020, you can re-employ them, put them on furlough and claim for their wages through the scheme.  
  3. Shielding employees and employees with caring responsibilities: new sections added to confirm how furloughing will apply to these groups.
  4. Officeholders/directors: As office holders, salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme … they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.
  5. Agreeing to furlough employees: To be eligible for the grant employers must confirm in writing to their employee confirming that they have been furloughed. A record of this communication must be kept for five years.  Recording decisions and agreements made with each employee on their personnel file and in your PAYE records is critical for all employers at this time.  We all need to be prepared for CJRS claims to be audited retrospectively.

This additional guidance is welcome and will ease concerns for some employers.

If you require any advice or assistance with matters arising on the new guidance, please get in touch in the normal manner.

Posted on April 6, 2020