Furlough to remain open until December 2020

Paula Bailey

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 31 October 2020, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”), which was due to end, is being extended until December 2020 and the cost to employers will reduce compared to October 2020. The Job Support Scheme will be postponed until the CJRS scheme ends.

Howes Percival writes:

The payments due under the CJRS will mirror the level available in August 2020 and will be paid upfront to cover wage costs, specifically:

  • The CJRS grant can be claimed for hours employees are not working;

  • The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500;

  • Employers will be liable to pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions, for non-worked hours;

  • For any worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax, NICs and pension contributions due on those amounts;

  • Flexible and full time furlough will be permitted;

  • Employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages; and

  • There will be no gap in eligibility for support between 31 October 2020 and the expected end date of the extended CJRS (2 December 2020) - the government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November.

A key difference with the extended CJRS is that neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously made a claim under the CJRS to qualify. The following requirements apply:

  • Employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020;

  • A Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30 October 2020;

  • Employees can be on any type of contract;

  • Any new working arrangements, including a furlough arrangement will need to be agreed with employees and recorded in writing;

  • A CJRS claim needs to cover a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days;

  • Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in any claim period; and

  • The CJRS grant must be paid to the employee in full.

Further details on the extended CJRS are expected to be provided shortly.

Paula Bailey (pictured) comments: “The Government’s decision to extend furlough will no doubt be welcomed by businesses still facing a difficult future. The second lockdown will cause businesses to face temporary closures (if they are deemed non-essential businesses) or reduced demand over the next month. The CJRS extension should help preserve jobs for an additional month and buy some more time before the planned introduction of the furlough successor, the Job Support Scheme. To discuss the scheme in more detail contact a member of the team.”



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