Just when we thought we were prepared for JSS Open and JSS Closed, the Government announced on 31st October that these schemes will be suspended and replaced with an extended furlough scheme to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, the current intention is to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

Therefore, and to support this, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500 or £576.92 per week. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ended 31st October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October (when Government grant was 60%).

Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5% of total employment costs.

Who is eligible?

Employers

  • All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.
  • Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
  • As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.

 Employees

  • To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
  • Employees can be on any type of contract.
  • Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
  • Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
  • When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.

The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.

The Job Support Scheme – Open and Closed, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends and will likely apply post this period i.e. from 2nd December as currently predicted.

We have developed a template letter for those wishing to put employees on the furlough scheme. Contact your Willis Employment Services or HR Consultant for further information.

For more information on the Furlough scheme(s) please contact Willis Employment Services on 02890329042 or use the contact form below

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Willis Insurance and Risk Management, Willis Wealth Management and Accident Investigation Services are trading names of Willis & Company (Insurance Brokers) Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority - 309124. Registration No. NI 32004. Registered in Northern Ireland.

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