The New Furlough Scheme in a Nutshell
On 31 October 2020, the Government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) which was due to come to an end that day, would be extended until December. While the new Job Support Scheme which was due to commence on 1 November 2020, has been postponed until the end of the extended furlough scheme.
The new Scheme will see the Government pay up to 80% of employee’s wages up to £2,500 per month and the Scheme is available to any employee who was on their employer’s payroll as at 23:59 on 30 October 2020. There is no requirement for employees to have been furloughed previously, meaning thousands of employees can be furloughed for the very first time.
Employers will need to claim for a minimum period of seven calendar days and will need to pay the employer NICs and pension contributions.
In these circumstances, if the plan was for your employees to revert to the JSS, move to sick pay or to return to work, employers do have at least another month’s grace to furlough their employees and ensure that they receive at least 80% of their wages. If you plan to take advantage of the new Scheme, our advice is to ensure that you seek your employee’s agreement and then confirm the new arrangement in writing.