Extension of Furlough scheme announced
The Government announced on 05 November 2020 that the extension to the CJRS will now be until 31 March 2021. This post reflects the position as of 4 November 2020. Guidance on the extension to the CJRS was published on 10 November 2020. For further detail, see our separate post here.
On 31 October, the Government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS, or furlough scheme), which was due to end that day, would be extended. Further detail is yet to be announced regarding the detail of the extension. So what do we know so far?
Extension of Furlough scheme – key points
- The CJRS will now be open until December, although the precise date has not been made clear.
- During November, to be eligible under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30th October 2020.
- Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
- Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as under the CJRS that was in place up to 31 October.
- The Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for hours not worked.
- Employers can choose to top up employees’ wages if they wish.
- Employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions on employees’ furlough pay. This mirrors levels available under the CJRS in August and is an increase on the amount an employer could claim during October 2020.
- Employers will pay employees for the hours worked in the normal way.
- When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
- Unlike the previous position under the flexible furlough scheme, neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
- The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
The announcement states that further details will be published shortly. The current Government online guidance dealing with the CJRS states:
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until December 2020. The guidance on this page reflects the rules up to and including 31 October 2020. We will update this page shortly to:
- tell you when you can claim the extension
- include the rules relating to the extension
Employers will need to consider whether they need to enter into a further flexible furlough agreement if they wish to continue to claim for employees under the CJRS.
The Job Support Scheme (JSS), which was due to commence on 1 November 2020, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends. New guidance on the JSS was published on 30 October 2020, but this was marked as withdrawn on 1 November 2020 because of the extension to the CJRS.
04 November 2020. Updated 13 November 2020
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