5th November 2020

Coronavirus: CJRS to run until March 2021

Chancellor extends furlough scheme to protect businesses affected by COVID-19.

Chancellor extends furlough scheme to protect businesses affected by COVID-19.

Following the recent extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) (furlough scheme) to December in light of the current national lockdown, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced that the scheme will remain open until 31 March 2021.

Currently the scheme reverts to the same level of contribution there was in August 2020, whereby employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

The Government intends to review the above level of funding in January 2021. Taking into account whether economic circumstances are improving enough, it will decide whether to ask employers to contribute further.

What we know so far

Subject to more detailed rules and guidance expected on 10 November 2020, a brief overview of how the extended scheme will operate:

  • Employers do not need to have used the CJRS previously and nor do employees need to have been furloughed previously;
  • Employees who were employed and on their employer’s PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020 are eligible;
  • The scheme can be used flexibly for partial work/partial furlough arrangements agreed with employees;
  • Employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. This means that for hours not worked, employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions;
  • Employees can be furloughed where they are unable to work because they are shielding or have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (this includes employees who need to look after children);
  • Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer afterwards can be re-employed and furloughed;
  • An employee who was on a fixed-term contract, was on payroll on 23 September and whose contract expired after 23 September can be re-employed and furloughed provided the other eligibility criteria are met;
  • There is no minimum furlough period and flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time;
  • To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed;
  • Any retrospective agreements to have effect from 1 November 2020 must be in place by the 13 November 2020 if relied upon the purposes of a CJRS claim;
  • Employers will be able to claim from 8am on Wednesday 11 November 2020; claims relating to November 2020 must be made by 14 December 2020.

Please note: Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice and we are not liable for any reliance on the information provided. This is a rapidly changing subject, and whilst correct at the time of writing, circumstances may have changed since publication. Please refer to Gov.uk for up-to-date advice on the Government’s response to this issue.

 

To find out more about anything covered in this article, or to discuss the potential impact of COVID-19 on your business, please contact Kerrie Hunt or another member of Thrings’ Employment and Immigration team.


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