Government extends Furlough Scheme

In tandem with the announced national lock-down in England – from 5th November to 2 December 2020 – the furlough scheme is to be extended to cover this period. This much needed support will be welcomed by all business owners affected by the new lock-down measures.

It would appear that the furlough extension will apply to all regions of the UK even if each region has different lock-down arrangements.

Politicians like to hedge their bets and it may be necessary to extend the national lock-down beyond 2 December. If so, should we also expect a similar extension to the furlough scheme?

The headline details available thus far are set out below:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

This furlough scheme will be extended for a further month. Details released are:

  • Government will cover 80% of hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500 per person per month.
  • Any grants paid must be passed on to the relevant employee in full.
  • The previous flexibility to allow employees back part-time will continue until December.
  • Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and pension costs. They will not need to contribute to hours not worked but they are free to make top-up payments at their discretion.

Which employers/employees can claim or be eligible for this extended support?

  • All employers with a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme can make a claim.
  • There is no requirement that employers or employees have made previous claims for CJRS support.
  • Employees must be on employer’s payroll before midnight 30 October 2020.

Previously announced Job Support Scheme

This new scheme will be deferred until the extended furlough scheme ends, presumably 2 December 2020.

The Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

We are aware that the Chancellor has hinted at corresponding increases in financial support for the self-employed to mirror the benefits of the extended furlough scheme.

No details available as yet.

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