Government extends furlough scheme following lockdown in England
The Government has extended the furlough scheme for employers until the end of March 2021, following a second lockdown in England.
Hours before the initiative was due to close on 31 October 2020, plans for the job support scheme to start from 1 November 2020 were put on hold.
Instead, furloughed employees will now receive 80% of their current salary – up to £2,500 – for hours not worked, initially until 31 March 2021, with a review in January 2021 expected.
In recent months, employers topped up furloughed workers’ wages by 20%, while the state paid 60%. Now, the Government will up their contribution to 80%.
The extension will reduce employers’ costs, compared to the furlough scheme as it was operating in October 2020.
Employers are still required to cover furloughed workers’ National Insurance and workplace pension contributions.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“As restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses.
“These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.”
In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, where other national restrictions apply, the furlough scheme will only be available for the duration of the English lockdown.
For further information on the furlough scheme, please contact James Alesbury on 023 8046 1222.