On the 31 October 2020, Boris Johnson announced that a nationwide lockdown will be put in place as of 5 November 2020. As a result of this, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), otherwise known as the Furlough Scheme is to be extended.

What does this mean for employers

  • The government will pay up to 80% of wages subject to a cap of £2,500.
  • Employers will still have to pay employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions.
  • Flexible furloughing can take place in addition to full time furloughing. Therefore, employers can furlough some employees completely and require that others work part time and be furloughed for the remainder of their hours.

How will this work:

  • For the hours that are not worked by an employee due to being placed on furlough, 80% of the employee’s wages will be paid by the government subject to a cap of £2500.
  • For worked hours, employers will pay their employees as normal.
  • Employers, at their discretion, will be able to top up their employee’s wage above the standard 80% if they so wish.

Eligibility in respect of employers

  • Employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE scheme are eligible to claim the grant despite not having used the CJRS previously.
  • Partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible if their private revenues have been disrupted due to coronavirus

Eligibility in respect of employees

  • Employees must be on the employer’s PAYE payroll by 30 October 2020 and a real time information submission notifying information to HMRC about that employee must have been made by that date.
  • Employees on any type of contract are eligible.
  • Employers can claim the grant for the hours not worked by their employees by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period and claims made must be for a minimum of a 7 consecutive calendar day period.

What about the Job Support Scheme

  • The Job Support Scheme was due to come into effect on 1 November 2020. This scheme was less generous than the furlough scheme. Details can be accessed here. However, this has been postponed until CJRS has ended which is due to be in December.

The Government will release further details about when claims can be made for employee wages in November however they have confirmed that there will be no break in support between the previous CJRS scheme and the current extension.

As ever, this is a fast moving situation and the guidance and directions are constantly being drafted reviewed and updated. Employers are advised to keep an eye on updates as more detail will no doubt be provided in due course.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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