Government Update on CJRS May 29th

On Friday 29th May, the government announced some updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and their plans around getting the country back to work.  You can view the government’s published announcement here –

There are some very good parts to this, namely being able to bring staff back part-time from 1st July while still benefiting from the scheme.  Although what is fairly straight forward for your own permanent staff, isn’t necessarily that straight forward for your temporary / contract workers.  We are expecting further clarity around how calculations will work for workers without fixed hours on 12th June and will update as information becomes available.

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30th June. From this point on, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to this date.  This means that the final date an employee can be furloughed for the first time is 10th June.

From 1st July the scheme will only be available for employers that have previously used the scheme and only in respect of employees that they have already furloughed.  Also from this date, claim periods will no longer be able to overlap months.  This is necessary to reflect the forthcoming changes to the scheme.

From 1st August, the level of government contributions will be slowly tapered off.  They will be as follows;


Government contribution: employer NICs and pension contributions 1


No No


Government contribution: wages

80% up to £2,500

80% up to £2,500 70% up to £2,187.50

60% up to £1,875

Employer contribution: employer NICs and pension contributions 2


Yes Yes


Employer contribution: wages

10% up to £312.50

20% up to £625

Employee receives

80% up to £2,500 per month

80% up to £2,500 per month

80% up to £2,500 per month

80% up to £2,500 per month

1,2 Government contribution covers employer NICs and pension contributions (up to an amount equivalent to the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution) calculated on 80% of wages up to £2,500 a month.


As previously mentioned, this is very straightforward and fair for the majority of employers with full-time, permanent staff.  It obviously raises huge questions around viability for agencies and umbrella companies which we hope to see answered by government in the coming weeks.

Unless some kind of exception is agreed for agency and umbrella workers, there may well need to be negotiation between umbrella employers, agencies and their end-hirer clients over who they wish to retain and who will be prepared to pay the contributions from 1st August onwards.  If work is still not available by then and without an exception from government or agreement between the parties, huge numbers of agency and umbrella workers will no doubt join the unemployed numbers, something that the government will be keen to avoid.

If you would like to discuss the above or any other point, including how we can help you with your future contractor payroll requirements, please get in touch.  We are here to help and more than happy to have a no-obligation conversation around your requirements.

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