The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), or furlough scheme, has been extended following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a return to restrictions to curb the spread of the pandemic in England.
Under the extended furlough scheme, the CJRS provision that applied in August would be reinstated. The government will pay up to 80% of normal earnings, with a cap of £2500, with the employer paying its normal National Insurance and statutory pension contributions. Businesses can also choose to continue using ‘flexible furlough’ options with staff working reduced hours. The furlough scheme extension will run until 2nd December, when the England-wide restrictions will be reviewed.
To be eligible for the scheme, employees must have been on an employer’s PAYE payroll by midnight of 30th October 2020 with a Real Time Information submission notifying payment to HMRC made.
The scheme had been expected to come to an end on November 1st and be replaced with the Job Support Scheme, which would have seen employees work a minimum of 20% of normal hours receive 67% of normal income from government and employer contribution.
Mortgage holidays for homeowners have also been extended as a result of the new restrictions. The business grant scheme that was in place for businesses forced to close by local restrictions has also been extended to cover the new England-wide rules.
- 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.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead.
“I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.”