Furlough extended until March 2021
The furlough scheme is to be extended until the end of March 2021, the Chancellor announced today.
It comes days after Rishi Sunak revealed furlough would continue through November.
The replacement for furlough – the Job Support Scheme – was originally supposed to start in November. That was before the national lockdown in England was decided.
What are the details on the furlough extension?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the Commons that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue to pay up to 80% of a person’s wage up to £2,500 a month with a review taking place in January.
He added that the Government’s highest priority continues to be protecting businesses and workers, stating that they’re offering “significant extra support to protect jobs and livelihoods in every region and nation.”
A change of heart
The additional extension comes as a surprise to many as the Government repeatedly reaffirmed their view that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme could not be extended following its initial deadline on 31 October.
Businesses repeatedly heard that it was unsustainable to continue the scheme as the costs continued to mount.
However, following increasing pressure, it seems the Government has flipped their view with the scheme seeing two extensions in just one week.
Nick Eardley, Political Correspondent, BBC, commented, “so this is a change of heart from ministers – and a really significant one. The Government will argue it is necessary because of a changing health picture. But political opponents have been calling for this for some time – they believe the Chancellor has waited too long.”
What does this change mean for businesses?
Ultimately, the extension comes as some much-needed relief, providing business owners and their employees with some stability over the coming winter months.
The extension arrives after the Bank of England said it was providing an extra £150 billion for the economy, warning that the resurgence of COVID-19 would lead to a slower economic recovery.
It seems that all the previously outlined factors such as employer contributions and part-time furlough will remain the same which you can see covered in our recent blog here.
As for claiming the extended scheme, business owners will have to wait for additional information.
How can IRIS support?
It seems that the rate at which we’re seeing changes introduced shows no sign of slowing, but here at IRIS, we’re here to support you no matter what is thrown your way.
We’re continuing to update our offerings in line with every alteration, providing customers peace of mind that they have the tools needed to stay compliant.
However, if you’re looking for more information on how you can adapt your processes to the next normal, be sure to attend our upcoming virtual conference, IRIS Live.
Taking place from 16-20 November, we’ve gathered experts from around the country to provide a week of discussion and debate.