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CHANGES TO FURLOUGH SCHEME POST 5 NOVEMBER 2020

Published on:November 9, 2020Author:Darcey Budsworth

EXTENSION OF FURLOUGH SCHEME

To coincide with the new national lockdown restrictions introduced on the 5 November 2020, the government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, “CJRS” or furlough scheme until 31 March 2021.

Rules for claims to 31 January 2021

For claims running to 31 January 2021 employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked. The rules for the calculation of the 80% are:-

Employers who can claim

  • on a fixed salary – 80% of the wages payable in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020
  • whose pay varies – 80% of the average payable between (these dates are inclusive) the start date of their employment or 6 April 2020 (whichever is later) and the day before their CJRS extension furlough periods begins
  • 80% of wages is capped at the maximum wage amount which will be calculated in the in the way it was for CJRS before the extension

Employers do not need to have previously claimed. This is open to businesses in the UK whether they are open or closed.

Employee eligibility

Employers can claim for employees on PAYE and who were on the payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have filed an online submission called a Real Time Information “RTI” claim for that employee in the period from 20 March and 31 October 2020.

What does the employer pay?

The employer must pay:_

  • Wages for hours worked
  • Employers National Insurance Contributions
  • Employers Pension Contributions
  • PAYE  and employers NIC that are deducted on the full amount paid to the employees

Re-employing staff made redundant or whose fixed term contract ended

For staff made redundant after 23 September 2020 or whose fixed term contract ended after this date, can be re-employed and claimed for as long as they were on payroll on 23 September 2020.

What can employees do on furlough?

Employees on the new furlough scheme can during the hours covered by furlough can:-

  • Undertake training
  • Volunteer for another employer or organization
  • Work for another employer (if contractually allowed)

But they do work for their employer that either makes them money or is carrying out a service for them or for any organization linked to their employer.

Guidance for extremely vulnerable people

The government has issued guidance for those who fall into this category.

If you fall into this category and cannot work from home, you should not attend work. You may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme during this period of national measures. People in the same household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable can still attend work, in line with the new national restrictions.

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

If you’re asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and you’re on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

The scheme will run until 31 January 2021 and applies if you have been told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020. The eligibility criteria is:-

  • you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • you’re employed or self-employed
  • you’re unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • you’re currently receiving at least one of the following:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

Discretionary £500 payment

If you do not qualify for the test and trace payment, you may be entitled to a discretionary £500 payment if you live in England and qualify with the following:

  • you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • you are not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit
  • you are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating

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