Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was due to end on 31 October and be replaced by the Job Support Scheme, but has now been extended to the end of March to provide support to businesses and employees during the new England-wide lockdown which began on Thursday 5 November.
We've covered this in our recent bulletin 'Furlough has been extended' (please refer to this for more detail), but there have since been a couple of clarifications and an additional extension period so we thought it was worth mentioning it again!
Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS to use the extended scheme, and the extended scheme is available to all employees who were on the employer's PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020. Since the original announcement it has been made clear that the extended CJRS is also available to employees employed as of 23 September (the date that the Job Support Scheme was announced) and on the payroll on or before that date, who have since been made redundant. These employees can be rehired and placed on the extended CJRS scheme.
The support available under the extended scheme mirrors that which was available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers can top up furloughed pay to 100% if they wish. Employers will be able to choose either furlough full-time or on a flexible basis. The extension will be reviewed in January "to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more".
The government has made it clear that there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of the CJRS of 31 October and the extended scheme. Further details, including how to claim under the extended scheme through an updated claims service, will also be provided shortly.
The Job Support Scheme (JSS) which was supposed to be coming into effect on 1 November, has been postponed until the CJRS ends. Guidance on the operation of the JSS was issued on 30 October but was withdrawn on 1 November due to the extension of the CJRS.
This is an evolving situation and we will keep you updated.