Briefing: tapering of the coronavirus job retention scheme


  • The coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) has been available since 1 March 2020 and is due to finish at the end of September 2021. The objective of the CJRS is to allow employers to retain and pay staff by furloughing them at 80 per cent of their usual wages. The scheme pays grants to employers to cover this proportion of wages.

  • A tapering of the scheme – whereby employers contribute more to furlough – is to be introduced on 1 July 2021. HM Government contribution will drop to 70 per cent of wages (or up to £2,187.50). The employer contribution to wages for hours not worked will be 10 per cent (or up to £312.50 per employee). This drops to 60 per cent and increases to 20 per cent respectively from August. The tapering system was announced on 3 March 2021.

  • Some have called for the full scheme to be extended. Not tapering the scheme would mean substantial costs for all taxpayers. If the scheme was extended without tapering until 31 December 2021, this could mean £18 billion in CJRS grants being paid to employers from 1 July 2021.



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