HM Treasury have announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which was due to end on the 31 October 2020, has been extended.
Following the announcement of a national lockdown, the Government have extended the CJRS to provide support to businesses and employees and it now remains available from 1 November 2020 until December 2020.
The extended scheme mirrors the scheme which was available in August 2020 with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will be responsible for paying employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions.
The scheme permits full time furlough leave as well as flexible furlough leave and employers must continue to pay the employee for any hours which they do work. Employers will also be able to top up employees' wages to 100% if they wish.
The rules state that neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the scheme and it will be available for all employees who were on the employer's payroll at 23:59 on 30 October 2020. Employers claiming for any furloughed hours will need to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.
The Government have yet to confirm when the first claims can be made but it has provided reassurance that there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the proposed end date of the CJRS and the recently announced extension.
Employers need to ensure that any employees placed on furlough leave confirm their agreement in writing.
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