Furlough scheme extended: Job Support Scheme postponed

2 mins

Posted on 01 Nov 2020

Following yesterday’s announcement of a further national lockdown, the Government has confirmed that the coronavirus job retention scheme (furlough) is being extended until December. The Job Support Scheme, due to start today, has been postponed until the furlough scheme comes to an end. The Government has confirmed that:

  • Furlough will not be restricted to employers who have previously used the scheme and they can furlough employees who have not previously been furloughed
  • Employees can be fully furloughed, or flexibly furloughed if there is still some work they can do – employers must pay employees as normal for hours worked 
  • The Government will fund 80% of wages for hours not worked, with employers only having to fund employer National Insurance Contributions and employer pension contributions, although they can choose to top up wages if they wish
  • The Government’s maximum contribution will be £2500, which reduces proportionately for employees who are flexibly furloughed
  • Each furlough period must last at least seven consecutive calendar days
  • To be eligible, employees must have been on the employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30 October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020
  • Employers must have a UK bank account and UK PAYE scheme
  • There will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of the scheme (31 October) and this extension

Employers wishing to use/continue to use the job retention scheme will now need to agree new/continued furlough arrangements with staff. Given the tight timing, for furloughed staff who were due to end furlough, this may simply be a matter of writing to them to inform them that their furlough is being extended. However, employers should take advice on individual circumstances.    

The Government’s announcement can be viewed here

The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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