In conjunction with the rushed announcement of the second lockdown, the Treasury have confirmed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ('CJRS') will be extended until December. Under the extended CJRS the government grant will match the more generous rate paid out in August 2020 (meaning the government will pay 80% of wages in respect of normal hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month). Accordingly, the implementation of the Job Support Schemes (Open and Closed) will be postponed.
The November furlough extension: what it means for your business
Under the extended CJRS:
- You will be able to furlough, or flexibly furlough, any employee (on any contract type) who was on an RTI PAYE submission on or before 23:59 on 30 October 2020.
- For any normal hours not worked by a flexibly furloughed employee, the Government will pay 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500 per month (with the Government press release confirming calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as previously adopted under the CJRS as to normal hours and pay).
- You will need to pay the employer NICs and pension contributions on the government subsidised wages – in addition to payments for any hours that are worked in the normal way.
- You can top up pay for unworked hours if you wish and/or are able to.
- Neither you nor the relevant employees need to have previously utilised the CJRS furlough scheme to be eligible.
- All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can participate. As was previously the case, publicly funded organisations are not expected to use the scheme and partially funded organisations may be eligible where private revenues have been disrupted.
- You will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
- There will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previous planned end date of the CJRS and this extension.
We are awaiting detailed amended rules and guidance (as this was necessarily a last-minute decision by the Chancellor) but you can read the details in full in the press release here