Furlough Job Retention Scheme extended to March 2021

HM Treasury have announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which was due to end on the 31 October 2020 before later being extended to 2 December 2020, has been extended even further.

Following the announcement of a national lockdown, the Government have extended the CJRS to provide support to businesses and employees and it now remains available from 1 November 2020 until the end of March 2020.

The extended scheme mirrors the scheme which was available in August 2020 with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will be responsible for paying employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions. The extension to the scheme will be reviewed in January to examine whether the economic circumstances are improving enough for employers to be asked to increase contributions.

The scheme permits full time furlough leave as well as flexible furlough leave and employers must continue to pay the employee for any hours which they do work. Employers will also be able to top up employees’ wages to 100% if they wish.

The rules state that neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the scheme and it will be available for all employees who were on the employer’s payroll at 23:59 on 30 October 2020. Additionally, it has been confirmed that anyone made redundant after 23 September can be rehired by their previous employer and put back on furlough leave. Employers claiming for any furloughed hours will need to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.

The extended scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll. Claims can be made from 11 November at 8am and claims made for each month should be submitted to HMRC by no later than day 14 of the following month. Full guidance on the scheme will be published on Tuesday 10 November 2020.Employers need to ensure that any employees placed on furlough leave confirm their agreement in writing.

Should you require any further advice in this relation to this, please do not hesitate to contact the employment team who are on hand to provide support and advice as these challenging times continue.

Posted on: 05/11/2020

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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