On Saturday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the Job Retention Scheme would be extended. The initiative will continue to pay up to 80% of the wages of staff unable to work due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It will continue in place of the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which was due to start 1st November 2020.
New guidance on the extension was issued straight away. However, that guidance is far from complete, and we are awaiting finalised details. Here’s what we do know:
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
- The government will pay 80% of normal wages, capped at £2,500 per month
- Employers will only be required to cover employer pension contributions and National Insurance for employees on furlough. This mirrors the level of the scheme which was available in August. As with the original, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages at their own expense
- Neither the employer nor employee needs previously to have used the Job Retention Scheme
- To be eligible, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 30 October 2020
- Flexible furloughing will continue to be available, as well as full-time furloughing
- The extended CJRS will operate as the original CJRS did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover the wage costs. However, the government has noted there will be a short period where the legal terms of the extended scheme are changed and systems updated in which businesses will be paid in arrears
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