The Government extends the Furlough Scheme to March 2021

5th November 2020 Employment

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that businesses across the United Kingdom will benefit from a five-month extension of the furlough scheme into Spring 2021.

The announcement follows the government’s decision to extend the previous furlough scheme into December 2020 to cover the new four-week lockdown in England that started on 5th November 2020. However, it appears that the government is now going further so that support can be put in place for long enough to help businesses recover from the global pandemic and help them get back on their feet.

What information do we have?

  • The extended scheme will remain open until 31st March 2021. 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. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked.
  • Employers can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
  • Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
  • Employer contributions during the CJRS extension until January will be the same as in August 2020. This means that for hours not worked by their employee, employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions. The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
  • Employers will have to pay the employee’s wages for the hours they work as normal, as well as employer National Insurance and employer pension contributions.
  • Employers do not need to have used the CJRS previously.
  • Employers across the UK can claim, whether their businesses are open or closed

Will the Job Support Scheme be postponed again?

Yes. The launch of the Job Support Scheme has been postponed because of national developments related to the coronavirus pandemic.

When can employers claim?

Employers will be able to claim from 8am on Wednesday 11 November 2020. Full guidance will include further detail on how to claim and will be published on 10 November 2020.

If you need advice or have any queries about dealing with any workplace issues arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact Paul Chamberlain or another member of the employment team at JMW Solicitors LLP on 0345 241 5305.

This note is for general guidance only and should not be used for any other purpose. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

JMW Solicitors is a Limited Liability Partnership. The copyright in this note is owned by JMW. Any reproduction of this article should be credited to JMW. All rights reserved. ​​​​​

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Lauren Scott is a Trainee Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Trainee Solicitors department

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Paul Chamberlain is a Partner and Head of Department located in Manchesterin our Employment department

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