On Saturday evening, Boris Johnson announced that the UK is to enter a second national lockdown from 5 November 2020.

In light of the Prime Minister’s new measures, it has also been revealed that the JSS will be delayed and the current furlough scheme will instead be extended to 31 March 2021.

The scheme, otherwise known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, will run from 1 November as it operates on full calendar months and will pay 80% of employee wages for time not worked. As per the conditions applied in August, this will be capped at £2,500 per month and employers will be expected to pay National Insurance and workplace pension contributions on these wages.

Employers can top-up an employee’s furlough pay at their own expense if they wish.


Which employees are eligible for the furlough scheme?

Any employee who has been on your payroll as of 30 October 2020 will qualify for the CJRS. This is the case even if you haven’t made a previous claim for that member of staff. You must however ensure that any employee you claim for has been paid by you, and that pay must have been reported on an RTI report before midnight on 30 October.

Employees on any type of contract can qualify, including zero hours, although more detail on whether contractors or directors are included is expected in the next few days.

Flexible furlough will be permitted alongside full-time furlough. This means that staff may be brought back part-time to help set up the premises for the lifting of national restrictions for example.

The same rules for flexible furlough will continue to apply as they have done since 1 July, so the employee may be furloughed for a few days or hours per week. There appears to be no minimum time set for furloughed hours or working hours. Each furlough claim must be for a period of at least seven consecutive calendar days however.


Which employers qualify?

All employers with a UK bank account can claim for the extended CJRS.

Charities and not-for-profit organisations can also claim in respect of their employees. However, public sector bodies and publicly funded organisations are not expected to use the scheme.


How do I make a claim?

The process will be very similar to that which has applied so far under the CJRS. The employer will have to report the hours the employee has not worked in a claim period, and the usual hours.

It’s not yet clear whether the employee’s pay must be reported on an RTI return before the CJRS grant is submitted for November pay periods. Further details and legislation are expected to be published shortly. As always, we will keep you updated as soon as we hear anything.

If you have any questions or would like help claiming for the CJRS, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with PKB and we’ll be able to help.


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