As part of their decision to impose a further lockdown across England, the government have announced a raft of financial measures to assist employers, employees and the self-employed with the inevitable economic consequences of that lockdown. These include mortgage holidays, as well as extensions to business grants and an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS – also known as the furlough scheme)
Under the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday evening, the furlough scheme has been extended throughout November and it's likely to last until the 2 December when lockdown ends. It remains capped at 80% of salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2500 per month.
However employers will benefit from this extension of the scheme, as payment has reverted to the system in operation in August, with employers only having to pay national insurance and employer pension contributions, and the government covering the balance.
Employers can still choose whether to opt for flexible or full time furlough, depending on their work requirements. However, neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the system, just that the employee must have been on PAYE payroll on 30 October. Employers can still choose to top up wages if they so wish.
The introduction of the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which was expected to replace the furlough scheme today has been put back and will be introduced following the end of the furlough scheme.
The Government are expected to issue additional guidance on this as well as to provide details on when claims can be made for wage costs during this month.