Second Lockdown – Furlough Scheme Extended

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme), due to have ended on Saturday 31 October, will now be extended because of the new national lockdown in England which begins on Thursday 5 November.  There will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end date of CJRS and this extension.

HM Treasury have provided some further information:

  • The Furlough Scheme will remain open until December.  It will operate as the previous scheme did with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs.
  • From 1 November, the Government will reimburse 80%of current salary for hours not worked by the employee (capped at £2,500).  This must be paid to the employee in full.
  • Employers may top up pay at their own expense if they wish.
  • Employers must meet the cost of employer NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee does not work.
  • Employers must pay for all hours worked in the normal way.
  • Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
  • Employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
  • Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.  Employers may agree any working arrangements with employees.
  • To be eligible, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30thOctober 2020.
  • The Government are advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, to work from home.  If they cannot work from home, they are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for statutory sick pay.
  • The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1stNovember, has been postponed until the extended furlough scheme ends.

Further guidance on the extended Furlough Scheme is anticipated this week.

In the meantime, we recommend that in cases where you would like employees to remain on furlough under the extended furlough scheme, that they be informed that you propose to continue the furlough arrangements until December or earlier if you decide, with appropriate agreement.

For employees who agreed to enter into the JSS scheme, you should let them know that you will be moving them on to the furlough scheme which is more generous.

The government announcement can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced