Furlough extended during November lockdown
Furlough has been extended for one more month (through November) as England goes into a second lockdown.
The move comes despite the Chancellor Rishi Sunak repeatedly saying in recent months that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would finish on 31 October, not least due to the unsustainable costs.
Mr 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.”
How has the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme changed?
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the furlough scheme, was due to end, but following the new lockdown announcement, the Prime Minister has announced an extension until December.
The scheme will largely operate how it previously did in August.
So, the Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 with employers paying National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.
The extended scheme will also continue to offer flexible furloughing in addition to full-time furloughing.
How will the extension impact the Job Support Scheme?
The Job Support Scheme was due to be the successor to the CJRS, initially scheduled to launch on 1 November.
However, it has now been postponed until the furlough scheme ends with additional guidance due to be set out shortly.
What do the new lockdown restrictions mean for businesses?
From 5 November until 2 December, the second national lockdown will once again close pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops, with workers being advised to work from home if possible.
“I’m under no illusion about how difficult this will be for businesses which have already had to endure such hardship this year, and I’m truly, truly sorry for that,” said the Prime Minister.
However, non-essential retail stores can continue to operate click-and-collect services while food establishments can offer takeaway and delivery, excluding the takeaway of alcohol.
Additionally, this time around, those operating in the construction and manufacturing sectors are allowed to remain open.
For more information on the full restrictions, click here.
We’re here to help
As schemes continue to change, you can rest assured that we’ll be there to support you with the latest updates and advice.
We’re continually tweaking our software and services in line with the guidance, which you can find here.
Also, if you’re looking for the latest information directly from the country’s business leaders, regarding thriving in the next normal, be sure to attend our virtual conference, IRIS Live.
Taking place from 16-20 November, our host of experts will be providing you with tangible tips to take away and utilise in your business.
For more information on the event, click here.