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Updates Announced to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme From May 2021

on Friday, 23 April 2021.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was extended until 30 September 2021. Since our last article, some minor changes have been made to the various CJRS guidance notes, with the updates and links to the guidance outlined below.

Read our previous article on the CJRS extension here.

Employees' Relevant Reference Date

The 'Steps to take before calculating your claim using the CJRS' guidance has now been updated to help employers work out what the relevant reference date will be. This date is needed for employees who have varying hours and/or pay (depending on which method of calculating is most appropriate) to work out their 'usual' hours and pay, and will vary depending on the employee's start date.

The relevant reference dates will either be 19 March 2020, 30 October 2020 or 2 March 2021.

Examples of How to Calculate Employee Wages

There is new guidance and worked examples on how employers should calculate 'usual' working hours and 80% of wages, for non-fixed rate employees, whose relevant reference date is 2 March 2021.

Coronavirus guidance employers

Statutory-Related Leave

Further guidance has also been released on how to account for statutory-related leave (such as maternity or paternity leave, statutory sick pay leave etc), for claim periods starting on or after 1 May 2021. When using the averaging methods for employees with varying pay and/or hours, where employees were on statutory-related leave in which their pay was reduced, these periods should be discarded for the purposes of calculating their usual hours/wages. However, if the employee was on statutory leave with reduced pay for the whole period used to calculate their average, these days and reduced wages will have to be taken into account in the calculation. 

Maximum Wage Amounts

From 1 July 2021, government contributions to furlough pay will be reducing by 10% in July and 20% in August and September, before the CJRS is due to end on 30 September 2021. Updated guidance now includes the multipliers for use when calculating grant amounts in these months. The maximum daily amounts that can be claimed for an employee have also been set out for claims made between May 2021 and September 2021.

Read worked examples of these here.

Employee Transfers Under TUPE and on a Change in Ownership

Updated guidance also notes that, if you are part of a change in ownership where the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply, then the information needed for future claims under the CJRS should be passed on to the new employer. Such information should include the employee's reference date and details of 80% of the employee's usual wage.


If you have any further questions on the CJRS please contact Michael Halsey in our Employment Law team on 07554 432829, or fill in the form below.

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