The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until December, with furloughed employees to receive 80% of salary for hours not worked and businesses asked only to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions.

In his announcement on 31 October of a new national lockdown for England from 5 November until 2 December, the Prime Minister confirmed that the CJRS has been extended for a further month.

The CJRS was due to have ended after being scaled back to cover 60% of salaries during October.

Details confirmed by the Chancellor reveal that the scheme will retain the flexible element, but the level of government support will return to the levels given in August.  Furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Employers will be able to furlough employees full time or part time, but to be eligible for the grant an employee must have been on the Employers payroll and an RTI submission to HMRC on or before 30th October 2020.

Employers will only be asked to cover employer national insurance and pension contributions for hours not worked. They will continue to pay for hours worked as normal. The employer will be required to pay these costs for the hours worked and not worked. Employers can top up furloughed staff’s salary to the previously contracted amount if that is what has been agreed with the employee.

The statement from Treasury says: “The government will confirm shortly 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.”

There has been no mention of whether businesses in Wales, which have already been in full lockdown for over a week, will have access to any backdated additional support. As soon as we have any definitive information on this we will issue an update.

The statement from the HM Treasury and the Chancellor also confirmed that the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which had been due to launch on 1 November, will not start until the CJRS has closed.

Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding these changes.