On 31 October 2020, the same date that the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS) was due to close, the Prime Minister announced a one month extension to the scheme.
The Prime Minister also announced a lockdown in England that would last at least four weeks and would start on 5 November. Wales has already commenced a two week firebreak national lockdown (as recommended by SAGE) from 6pm on Friday 23 October.
At least we now have an answer for how to deal with employees where businesses are having to close or curtail trading during national lockdown. Welsh businesses have really been in limbo for the last week.
Here is a summary of the key points:
- The Job Support Scheme (JSS) has been paused for now. The extended CJRS applies on 1 November until December (we don’t yet have the precise end date).
- This extension is nationwide and there is no requirement for legal closure of the workplace under lockdown to access this support.
- The CJRS will pay up to 80% of wages for time not worked, capped at £2,500 per month. Employers pay NI and pensions. Essentially, it’s a return to August level of support.
- It is flexible furlough, so there is no minimum period of non-working required.
- The employer pays for time worked as normal.
- This scheme applies to all employees submitted to HMRC via payroll on or before 30 October, meaning that new starters are also eligible for support under this scheme. It also means that if the employer has not yet used the CJRS they can still use it now.
- What action do you need to take now? Employers need to urgently get in place furlough agreements to cover November and new agreements where none existed previously. For our subscribers, we have uploaded some useful template letters to our HR Library.
Here is a link to the government site for more information.
If you need specific help or have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact PitStop on email@example.com or 03300 414 636.
The PitStopHR team continue to work remotely during this period and we are delighted to have supported our valued clients with a brilliantly professional and seamless service during a difficult time.