Following the commencement of the successful Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), further dates and actions were decided to extend its use. This extension and the changes were designed to give flexibility to businesses while protecting the livelihoods of British people and future economic prospects. In this article, we take a look at the key calendar dates and what they mean for businesses.
Rishi Sunak announced that the job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses across the UK. Therefore, to avoid a cliff edge and to get people back to work in a measured way, more flexibility within the scheme began from the start of August. This extension has, and will likely continue to be, a huge help for businesses across the UK.
What Are The Key Dates In The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?
Sunak explained that the scheme would change over the duration of the coming months, leading to a gradual tapering off, with companies expected to contribute more as the scheme went on, as well as an option for companies to furlough employees on a part-time basis.
The key dates to be aware of are:
- 1st August – Employers are responsible for paying the national insurance and pension contributions of furloughed employees
- 1st September – Employers must start paying 10% of furloughed employees’ wages and the government reduces its contribution to 70%
- 1st October – Employers must start paying 20% of furloughed employees’ wages and the government reduces its contribution to 60%
- 31st October – The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ends
In addition to reducing the percentage of the amount that it contributes, the government is also lowering the cap of the total salary it covers.
This means that the September and October changes should look like this:
- September – government contribution is 70% up to £2,187.50 and employer contribution is 10% up to £312.50.
- October – government contribution is 60% up to £1,875 and employer contribution is 20% up to £625.
Can You Still Enrol Employees Onto The Furlough Scheme?
You can no longer enrol anyone new onto the scheme, but employers can re-furlough anyone who was previously enrolled onto the scheme between 1st March and 30th June, if they were furloughed for three consecutive weeks.
This means the last date you could furlough an employee and they still be eligible for the CJRS under the latest updates was the 10th June.
What Is ‘Flexible Furloughing’?
As part of the updated furlough scheme, the government has introduced flexible furloughing. This means businesses can furlough a number of hours that an employee is contracted for, until October 31st. Namely, if an employee is contracted 35 hours a week, you could choose to furlough 10 of their hours. The government will pay the furloughed hours in line with the scheme and the employer pays the remainder of the hours.
The Job Retention Scheme has been hugely beneficial in helping small employers keep their staff in work, therefore it’s extension is welcome for many small businesses. All up to date information regarding the CJRS, for both employee and employer reference, can be found on GOV.UK.
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