An Early Christmas Present? – A further extension to the furlough scheme
The Chancellor has just announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the furlough scheme) has been extended until 30 April 2021: Chancellor extends furlough and loan schemes
The scheme was originally due to end on 31 October 2020. This was then extended to 31 March 2021 and has now been extended by another month to the end of April 2021.
As well as the extension to the duration of the scheme, the Government has brought forward its review of employer contributions to the scheme. This review was originally due to take in place in January 2021 but has been brought forward to allow businesses to prepare for the coming year. There had been speculation that the review would see employers having to make increased contributions to the furlough scheme
However, and as a result of the review, the Government has confirmed the contribution levels are not going to change. The Government will continue to pay 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked until the end of April (subject to the monthly cap). Employers will only be required to pay wages, NICS and pension for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked.
The Government also confirmed the eligibility criteria for the furlough scheme will remain unchanged.
This latest announcement should provide employers with a greater level of certainty as to the furlough scheme both in relation to its duration and the costs payable by employers under the furlough scheme. That in turn should assist in making decisions in respect of the workforce as we go into the new year.
If you have any questions or need any assistance on the extended furlough scheme, please contact Moorcrofts Employment Partner, Matt Jenkin.