Extension of Furlough Scheme
After the last few days, employers could be forgiven for wondering what is going on. The Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) Scheme was due to come to an end on 31 October and the new version of the Job Support Scheme (Job Support Scheme Open and Closed) was due to begin on 1 November. However, on the evening of 31 October, Boris Johnson announced that the furlough scheme will be extended until December (the exact date in December is currently unconfirmed).
The key points of the extended furlough scheme are as follows:
· The furlough scheme will be extended and will be in place for the duration of the new lockdown in England i.e. 5 November to 2 December.
· The extended furlough scheme will be paid at the levels that applied in August, when a government contribution of 80% of wages (up to a cap of £2,500) applied. Employers only have to pay employer NICs and pension contributions.
· Employers can still place employees on flexi-furlough, allowing employees to work part time and be furloughed for hours when they are not working.
· Eligibility for the furlough scheme has been widened so that employees are eligible for furlough leave provided that they were on the employer’s payroll on 30 October.
· Employers can use the extended furlough scheme even if they did not claim under the previous furlough scheme.
· As at present, employers can choose to top up furlough payments.
The Job Support Scheme has not been cancelled but the start date has been delayed. If employees have been asked to agree to being placed on the Job Support Scheme, employers will have to ask them to remain on furlough instead.
Further details will follow and Simply-Docs will update all of the CJRS documents accordingly. Job Support Scheme documents will be added to the portfolio, at the appropriate time.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.