Can an employer rehire and furlough employees they had made redundant before the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was announced?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was due to close on 31 October 2020. However, on that date, the Government initially announced that the scheme would remain open during December 2020, then on 5 November 2020 announced that it would be extended until 31 March 2021.

If an employer had made employees redundant, expecting the scheme to come to an end on 31 October 2020, they can rehire them and claim for them under the scheme provided that the redundancies took place after 23 September 2020.

The employee must have been on the employer's payroll on 23 September 2020, with the employer making a real time information (RTI) submission to HM Revenue and Customs in respect of the employee between 20 March 2020 and 23 September 2020. (The general position for eligibility for the employer to make a claim under the scheme from 1 November 2020 is that the employee must have been on the payroll on 30 October 2020.)

The scheme also covers employees who are rehired if their employment terminated for a reason other than redundancy after 23 September 2020.