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COVID-19: Furlough scheme extended and further support announced

COVID-19: Furlough scheme extended and further support announced

April Foster

 Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), (which was due to end at the end of October), has been extended for another month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500.

Businesses will be able to furlough staff on a part time or full-time basis and will only need to cover National Insurance, employer pension contributions and pay for hours worked. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

We will provide further information on how to claim as soon as this is available.

Who is eligible?

  • All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim under the CJRS. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the furlough scheme.
  • Publicly funded organisations are not eligible, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted.
  • Employees must have been employed on 30 October 2020 and included on the RTI submission to HMRC before 30 October 2020.
  • Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
How the scheme will work
  • When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.
  • Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
  • For hours not worked, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
  • Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions, and, where the employee is flexibly furloughed and still working part-time, should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.
  • Employers can choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
Business grants
Business premises forced to close in England will receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month:
  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
Mortgage holidays
To support homeowners, mortgage holidays will no longer end on 31 October as previously planned.

Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.