Given that on 5th November, the Chancellor announced that the Government’s Furlough scheme is going to be extended until the end of March 2021, it is perhaps helpful to pause and take stock of all the information that has been communicated by the Government over recent weeks and consider our options at this present time.
Furlough (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)
Furlough continues to be in place and will continue to operate until the end of March. The Government will pay up to 80% of normal wages (capped at £2,500 per month). Employers will only be required to pay the cost of national insurance contributions and pension contributions. However, the Government will review the scheme in January and look at the economy at that point to decide on whether it will be necessary for Employer’s to pay more as part of the scheme from that point onwards.
The latest developments are still subject to further guidance and legislation being published.
Job Retention Bonus
The bonus payment announced of £1,000 per employee brought back from furlough will not be paid in February. However, the Government have said that they will redeploy that retention incentive at the appropriate time.
Job Support Scheme – Open and Close (JSS)
This was the scheme that would allow employees to work reduced hours (minimum of 20% of their usual hours), with the Government contributing towards the lost pay as well as allow businesses receiving grants for any forced closures. Considering furlough being extended until the end of March, the JSS will not be going ahead at this time. It is expected that if it is still required, then it would follow once Furlough has ended.
For more guidance articles relating to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic visit the HR Solutions’ dedicated page ‘Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers’.
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