Furlough Extended & Additional Grants for Closed Firms During New England Lockdown

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended as part of the Government’s plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Prime Minister has announced that the CJRS, also known as the Furlough scheme, will remain open until March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ended on 31 October.

The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers paying National Insurance and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work. As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.

The extended scheme will operate as the previous one did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. The Government is expected to confirm imminently when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.

Additionally, business premises forced to close in England can now receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Businesses will be eligible for the following:

For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants to be £1,334 per month or £667 per two weeks.

For properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, grants to be £2,000 per month or £1,000 per two weeks.

For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants to be £3,000 per month or £1,500 per two weeks.

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to commence on 1 November, has been postponed until the Furlough scheme ends.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

‘Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead.

‘I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.’

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