Following the announcement of a month-long national lockdown in England, the Treasury has said the coronavirus job retention scheme (CRJS), due to end on 31 October, will now remain open until December
Under the scheme, furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Businesses will be required only to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions, making the extended furlough scheme more generous for employers than it was in October.
The CJRS was due to have ended, after being scaled back to cover 60% of salaries during October.
In its latest iteration, the scheme will retain the flexible element, but the level of government support will return to the levels given in August.
To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020. This means a real time information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before that date.
Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees, and 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.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now - along with many other countries around the world - we face a tough winter ahead.
‘I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, 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.’
The government’s planned job support scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1 November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.
As part of the support available during the latest lockdown, mortgage payment holidays will no longer end in October. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:
• For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
• For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
• For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.