Extension of furlough scheme
09 Nov 2020
The government has announced that the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme (CJRS), known as furlough, which was scheduled to cease as at the end of October will now remain open until 31 March 2021.
The job support scheme which had been scheduled to start in November will now be postponed until the furlough scheme ends.
We are waiting to get final details of the scheme and these are due to be published 10 November 2020. Once we receive and digest these we will write again to schools.
Information currently available
In the meantime based on information currently available please note:
- The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. All other previous CJRS eligibility requirements also apply to these employers
- Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS
- To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020
- For hours not worked by the employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full
- The government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more
- To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed. Employers should discuss any proposal to furlough with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. This can be done by letter
- 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
- Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions, and should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.
Schools that have made claims under the furlough scheme have in the main been either those who had workers engaged in before and after school settings (and the funding source for this was reliant partly or wholly on parental income) or early years settings who were reliant on private income streams.
Latest government guidance: Extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you are considering furloughing employees, you are advised to alert relevant staff now and I would ask that you read the provisions of section 3.2 of the guidance referred to in the link above.