Furlough Scheme Extended until December
Provided MPs vote to ratify the proposals on Wednesday, England will head into a second, one-month national lockdown from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December 2020. This means that from 5 November, pubs, clubs and non-essential shops will be forced to close.
As a result, the Government has in effect been left with no option but to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Scheme) that was due to end on 31 October 2020 and be replaced by the Job Support Scheme (JSS).
But what does this mean for employers:
• We understand that the extended Scheme will run alongside the proposed lockdown so will come to an end in December.
• The implementation of the JSS has been postponed until the expiry of the extended Scheme
• Under the extended Scheme the government will contribute up to 80% of employee wages (capped at £2,500) whilst the employer will pay National Insurance and pension contributions.
• To be eligible, an employee must have been on the employer’s payroll as at 23:59 30th October 2020.
• Employers who have not previously furloughed employees can access the extended Scheme. Employees who have not previously been furloughed will also be eligible.
• Employers can only claim the furlough grant for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
• Furlough under the extended Scheme can be either full time or on a flexible basis.
As ever, we are awaiting further guidance from the government, but our advice is that employers need to move quickly and ensure that employees are furloughed as soon as possible to take advantage of this extended Scheme. It is also important to make sure that any applicable consents to furlough are updated to reflect the new situation.
If you have any questions about the extended Scheme, please e-mail Paul Kelly at PKelly@LawBlacks.com.