The extension to the Furlough Scheme is already yielding positive results by allowing employers to retain staff rather make redundancies.

The announcement of an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until December is, for now, saving businesses and jobs, according to HR Team Director, Breda Cullen.

Mc Cullen says: “The extension to the CJRS in the UK is proving to be a lifeline for employers and employees. Among HR Team clients, the move has already resulted in employers retaining staff who would otherwise have to have been made redundant.”

The new Job Support Scheme (JSS), which was the government’s replacement wage support scheme which had been set to launch on November 1, has now been postponed until the extended CJRS ends.

Under the scheme, furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary up to a maximum of £2,500 for hours not worked.

Ms Cullen continued: “Businesses will be required only to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions, making the extended furlough scheme more generous for employers than it was in October – given salaries were scaled back to cover 60% in October.

To be eligible for this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by midnight on October 30, 2020. This means a real-time information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made before this date.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “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.”

breda cullen hr consultant

To provide further clarity for employers in these unprecedented times, Ms Cullen has highlighted the key points:

  • The CJRS will now remain open until December and will not close, as originally planned, on October 31. The exact end date is currently unknown, but it is likely to coincide with the proposed ending of the new lockdown in England on December 2.
  • The introduction of the JSS will be postponed until the CJRS ends.
  • If employees have already received a letter that they would be on JSS it would be best to confirm with them that furlough will continue until the end of November.
  • If employers are going through redundancies, you can either continue with redundancy or put employees back on furlough. Confirmation in writing is important.

For further advice on the latest updates and how to handle staffing issues arising from recent restrictions, please contact HR Team in NI/UK on +44 2871 271882 or in ROI on +353 1 695 0749.