In response to the covid-19 pandemic the government decided in March 2020 to lock down large parts of the economy in order to better protect people from the virus. To avoid mass unemployment and provide financial support to jobs adversely affected by the pandemic, HM Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) (the Departments) put in place two employment support schemes: the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for businesses and their employees, and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) scheme for the self-employed. The two Departments worked together to design the schemes, with HMRC then responsible for administering them. HMRC made use of its existing systems for tax return data: The Real Time Information system for employers submitting monthly, and the Self Assessment system for the self-employed who submit annual tax returns. The schemes initially ran from March to October 2020, costing over £55 billion by mid-October. On 5 November, as England went back into a full lockdown, the government decided to extend the schemes, with SEISS now running until the end of January 2021 and CJRS extended through till the end of March 2021, at an estimated additional cost of £21 billion.