Please note: The information contained in this article is correct as of 05/11/20. Due to the ongoing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, information and guidance is subject to change and while we will do our best to update these articles with any new information, we would always advise you speak with a solicitor for specific advice.

On Thursday 5 November, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (commonly known as the furlough scheme) will be extended until March 2021.

Up until January 2021, it is expected that employers can claim for 80% of an employee’s wages for hours not worked, up to £2,500 per month, with the percentage due to be reviewed for February and March claims. This is in contrast to the reduced rate offered by the furlough scheme in the past couple of months.

Some details have been confirmed. These include:

– If an employer has not previously used the scheme, they can make a claim.

– Employees can do some work as the scheme will continue to be flexible.

– Employees who have been made redundant but were on the payroll on 23 September 2020 can be re-employed and placed on furlough leave.

– Shielding employees can be furloughed but this is not compulsory.

– The Job Support Scheme and Job Retention Bonus have been (temporarily) put on hold.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has provided financial support for businesses impacted by closures and restrictions during the pandemic. Despite this, many employers have seen no other option but to make redundancies as the scheme was due to wind down in October. The extension of the furlough scheme may enable those employers to re-instate redundant employees and place them on furlough leave until the workload increases sufficiently.

If you require advice about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, contracts of employment, risk assessments, or redundancies, please contact Farleys employment law specialists on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.