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Furlough scheme extension and other support

The furlough scheme as we know it which was due to end on 31 October has been extended until at least the end of November.

This means that the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) will now not come into force until the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) ends – the two schemes do not overlap.

The JRS or furlough scheme extension will be on the same terms as employers were able to access in August 2020. This means that employees can be on full or flexible furlough with no requirement for them to work a minimum number of hours. For the hours that they do not work, employers will be able to claim back 80% of their usual wages from the government, but will have to pay any Employer’s National Insurance Contributions due as well as the 3% employers autoenrollment pension contribution where appropriate.

Furlough scheme extension FAQs

Can I top up my employees’ salaries?

Yes, you can.

I have a new employee who started in September – can I furlough them in November?

Yes, you can.

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. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.

My business hasn’t been able to take advantage of the previous furlough schemes as we didn’t furlough anyone before the end of June – can we apply now?

Yes, you can.

All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.

Do my employees have to work a certain number of hours in order to be able to claim for them?

No, they don’t. As with the flexible furlough scheme in August, employees can be on full or flexible furlough.

Do I have to decide whether to use the JRS or the new JSS?

No, you don’t. The new Job Support Scheme will not come into effect until the JRS finishes.

When can I claim?

The HMRC portal has not yet been opened for November claims, so if you usually claim on a weekly basis, you may have to pay your employees yourself for a couple of weeks and then make the claim retrospectively.

It is anticipated, but not yet confirmed, that employers will be able to claim up to 14 days in advance of their RTI being submitted as was the case with the CJRS previously.

As soon as the portal is open we will let you know.

Anything else I should be aware of?

Everything else will broadly remain the same as under the flexible CJRS in August 2020. Further details will be published in the coming days and again, we will update as we learn more.

Other support available:

Business Grants

Businesses with rateable properties required to close will be eligible for the following grant funding:

If your rateable value is:

  • £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks
  • £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks
  • £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks

Our present understanding is that this includes hospitality venues who are allowed to remain open to serve takeaways, but who would normally offer a sit in service.

Grants will be allocated by the relevant local authority.

Mortgage holidays:

Mortgage payment holidays will be extended – the FCA is due to announce more details about this today.

If you have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday, you will be entitled to a six month holiday.

If you have started one already, you will be able to top this up to six months without it being recorded on your credit history.

Please contact us if you need any further help or support relating to this.

Or view the Gov.uk website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced

Disclaimer: Please note that this email does not constitute advice and is based on our best understanding of the government announcements at 2 November 2020

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