Government guidance was updated yesterday to set out examples of where employers may have a “reasonable excuse” for submitting Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims outside of the deadline. Click here to read the guidance.

The claims deadlines have become more strict under the most recent version of the CJRS. Claims made from 1 November 2020 must be submitted by no later than 11:59pm, 14 calendar days after the month you are claiming for. Where claim deadlines fall on a weekend or bank holiday, the claim must be submitted the next working day. The guidance sets out the deadlines clearly as follows:

CJRS claims


HMRC may accept a claim after the deadline where there is a “reasonable excuse” for failing to make the claim in time. However, you would also need to show that you took reasonable care to submit the claim in time and that, if unable to do so, the claim was submitted without delay after the excuse no longer applied.

The guidance now contains examples of what HMRC may regard as a “reasonable excuse” including excuses such as; death of a partner or close relative shortly before the deadline, unexpected hospital stays, serious or life threatening illness and computer or software failures. The full list can be seen in the updated guidance referred to above.


We are the HR and employment law experts from ESPHR.

It’s our mission to advise and develop the employment law capability of HR professionals wherever we can, helping HR teams make a real commercial difference to their organisations. That way, you spend less time solving operational issues and more time actioning projects that drive far-reaching change in your company.

Call 0333 006 2929 or email today to discover exactly how we can help you.


Author: Nina Robinson

Director, ESP Law Ltd

Nina is an accomplished employment solicitor with over 10 years’ post-qualified experience at leading UK law firms. Nina initially qualified as a corporate solicitor at Addleshaw Goddard and since 2006 practised employment law exclusively, providing advice to employer customers at both DAC Beachcroft and Ward Hadaway Solicitors. Nina has experience of advising a varied portfolio of employer customers, including retail and restaurant groups, financial services and media industry customers on all employment issues.

Get the latest HR and employment law news, advice, insight, free resources and promotions straight to your inbox