This lunchtime, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain open until 31 March 2021, which will allow employers to furlough employees until that point. For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. This means the Scheme is more generous than the scheme running in September and October. The percentage may be reviewed for February and March, presumably reducing on a similar scale as before.
Full guidance is due to be published next week, on 10 November 2020. However, from the HMRC Policy Paper we know:
- employers can claim even if they, or the relevant employees, had not previously used the CJRS.
- the furlough will continue to be flexible, i.e. employees can continue to do some work.
- employees can be furloughed if they are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding).
- employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer after that date can be re-employed and claimed for.
- the Job Support Scheme (which was due to take effect from 1 November 2020) and the Job Retention Bonus (which would have given employers a bonus of £1000 for each eligible employee previously furloughed and subsequently kept in employment in January 2021) have been put on hold (for now).
We will provide further information once we see the full guidance next week, but if you need any advice about how this impacts you or your business please get in touch.