This furlough scheme will now be extended until the end of March 2021, details released yesterday are as follows;
- Government will cover 80% of hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. This percentage support may be flexed for February and March 2021 when employees may be asked to contribute
- Any grants paid must be passed on to the relevant employee in full
- The previous flexibility to allow employees back part-time will continue until December
- Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and pension costs and wages for time worked. Importantly, they will NOT be required to contribute for hours not worked but they are free to make top-up payments at their discretion.
- There is no requirement that employers or employees have made previous claims under the CJRS support
- Employees must be on employer’s payroll before midnight 30th October 2020
As the furlough scheme is now extended to the end of March 2021, this new scheme will be deferred until the extended furlough scheme ends, presumably 31 March 2021
The Job Retention Bonus
This bonus of £1,000 per employee retained until January 2021 will no longer be paid as the furlough scheme now extends to 31st March 2021. However, the Chancellor has hinted that this bonus may be reintroduced when the extended furlough scheme ends.
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
The Chancellor has announced a corresponding increase in financial support for the self-employed to mirror the benefits of the extended furlough scheme.
For the period November 2020 to January 2021, SEISS support will be 80% of average trading profits capped at £7,500. The previous eligibility criteria still apply.
Additionally, SEISS grants will be paid faster, the claims window will open at the end of November rather than the middle of December. This will provide much needed funds for the self-employed before Christmas.
There will be a further SEISS grant for the period February 2021 to April 2021, the amount for this period should be announced in January 2021.