In a surprise announcement on 17 December the Government made a further extension to the CJRS furlough scheme, extending it to the end of April 2021 and retaining the level of support at 80% of wages. The announcement comes on the same day that large parts of the country moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3 restrictions.
The Government had previously said that the furlough scheme would be reviewed in January, but this has been brought forward in order to enable businesses to plan with certainty into the New Year. The Government will continue to pay 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked, until the end of April. Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked.
The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged and these changes will continue to apply to all Devolved Administrations.
The Chancellor also confirmed that the Budget will be on 3 March. The aim is that the Budget will set out the next phase of support to protect jobs ahead of the minimum 45 day redundancy consultation period before the new end date of the scheme.