Employer guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – further update (version 4)

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Employer guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – further update (version 4)

Published 15 abril 2020

The Government has further updated the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Guidance (version 4). 

The key headline is that the key payroll eligibility date has been changed from 28 February to 19 March 2020.  This will bring into scope a number of people who fell outside the scheme because they had recently changed jobs.  The 19 March date is just before the Chancellor announced details of the scheme, meaning it is still effective to prevent fraudulent claims.

The salary reference date for calculating the claim for salaried employees has also changed to 19 March 2020. The revised guidance states that if, based on previous guidance, an employer has calculated their claim based on the employee’s salary as at 28 February 2020 (and this differs from their salary in their last pay period prior to 19 March 2020), the employer can choose to still use this calculation for their first claim.

There has also been a change to the position on employees on unpaid leave. This now provides that if an employee started unpaid leave after 28 February 2020, they can be furloughed. If however an employee went on unpaid leave on or before 28 February, they cannot be furloughed until the date on which it was agreed they would return from unpaid leave.

There is also a bit more detail on the documentation payroll will need to provide when making claims.

Please note that the position regarding calculating pay for those on variable hours who return from statutory leave (such as maternity leave) has NOT changed meaning potentially their furlough pay is calculated based on their lower statutory pay if they were absent for a lengthy period of time, unlike those who are salaried where it is calculated based on their actual pay.

The Government has also just issued a Treasury Direction which forms the legal basis of the CJRS, which we are reviewing. We will continue to update clients if there are any significant developments.



Louise Bloomfield

Louise Bloomfield


+44 (0) 113 251 4717

Joanne Bell

Joanne Bell


+44 (0) 161 934 3179

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