Recently the government have announced an extension to the pre-existing Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, meaning workers can be continued to be placed on furlough well into next year.
Employers in the UK can now place workers on furlough until 31st March 2021, and employees will now still receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2500 per month. This announcement comes as welcome relief to workers across the country as uncertainty grows with Christmas fast approaching.
Can I be furloughed?
To be eligible for furlough, you have to be on your companies payroll on or before 30th October 2020, however it is not necessary to have been furlough previously. Employees and workers who have not been on furlough previously are now eligible.
You can take advantage of the furlough scheme even if you are on a part-time, agency or zero-hour contract. You can also take on other jobs, but only if it will not break the rules in your contract agreement.
Also, if you were on your company’s payroll on 23rd Sept but then made redundant as a result of the virus, they can now rehire you and claim furlough payments. Your employer can also bring you back on a part-time basis and furlough you for the remaining hours.
There are also millions of pounds available in additional support if you are self-employed, with the government introducing the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Read more about how you can access this funding in our feature post.
What does it mean for employers?
If you are an employer concerned with the financial impact COVID-19 is having on your business and workforce, the updates will undoubtedly be much needed welcome news.
In previous months, your business could only claim 60% of furlough wages and had to top up the remaining 20% out of their own pocket. The updates mean that you no longer need to make additional wage payments to keep your staff, and the flexible furlough scheme remaining open will provide you with more options.
Despite the process for claiming furlough payments remaining the same, there is a smaller window to make that claim. You only have until 14th December 2020 to make claims relating to November 2020, and subsequently until the 14th of every following month.