Rishi Sunak Extends Furlough Until March 2021

The scheme which helps pay up to 80% of workers’ wages, will now be extended until March 31st 2021.

Unfortunately, this does mean the job retention bonus will be put on hold, meaning companies will no longer be able to claim £1,000 per employee until next year if the scheme still goes ahead.

On November 5th, Rishi Sunak confirmed the UK’s furlough scheme will be extended until March 2021 in order to protect millions of jobs and providing support to businesses throughout winter.

The revised scheme replaces the earlier scheme which was planned to last until December 2nd 2020. The scheme allows furloughed employees to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2.500 per month. The government expects the extension to benefit up to 200,000 workers who have previously missed out.

The chancellor also announced funding for the UK’s workforce. The self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) will now be increased, with the third grant covering November to January- calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500. Many workers will remain eligible, including newly self-employed individuals who pay themselves in dividends and freelancers and sole traders who previously had a trading profit of more than £50,000.

Guaranteed funding for devolved administrations from £14 billion to £16 billion has also been raised by the Chancellor, supporting workers, businesses and individuals.

On top of this, cash grants of up to £3000 per month for businesses which are closed has been announced and plans to extent government backed loans and the future fund until the end of January has been discussed.

In his speech on 5th November 2020, Rishi Sunak stated that, “I’ve always said I would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK – and that has meant adapting our support as the path of the virus has changed. It’s clear the economic effects are much longer lasting for businesses than the duration of any restrictions, which is why we have decided to go further with our support. Extending furlough and increasing our support for the self-employed will protect millions of jobs and give people and businesses the certainty they need over what will be a difficult winter.”

Many business leaders from across the UK have praised the chancellor for extending furlough, claiming it will provide much-needed help to thousands across the country.

As the month-long lockdown forces non-essential businesses to shut their doors until December 2020, numerous businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water.

Jane Pendlebury, the CEO of HOSPA (the Hospitality Professionals Association), stated that, “The extension of the furlough scheme is, of course, very welcome news for the hospitality industry. However, I can’t help but feel it’s somewhat ominous. Does this mean that lockdown will be extended beyond 2nd December 2020?”

Jane may have a point but there’s no denying the help will benefit companies still struggling to keep an entire workforce on in the next coming months.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the furlough scheme or how the changes will affect you and your business, please feel free to contact us on 01254 781969 or email your query to info@intelligentpayroll.co.uk


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