In light of the PM’s announcement on 30 October 2020, in which he confirmed the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme / CJRS) will be extended to 2 December 2020, the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) will now not start until the extended Furlough Scheme ends.
The extension of the Furlough Scheme may create some confusion and concern for Employers who have already formally ended furlough and have implemented a formal short time working arrangement with employees. For guidance on this point, Employers can look to the third Treasury direction, in which the Treasury confirmed the requirement to reach agreement on flexible furlough arrangements needs to be confirmed in writing by employers (which may be in electronic form such as an email).
A literal interpretation of the Treasury direction would suggest that any formal agreement reached on short time working would mean employees returning to work under these arrangements would be eligible for the extended CJRS as being flexibly furloughed, but at the date of writing this we are still awaiting further guidance from the Treasury to determine what steps, if any, Employers will need to take with those employees they have entered into short time working arrangements with.
What the Treasury has confirmed so far is that the CJRS has been extended until December and will operate as the previous scheme did and the level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August; so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work and that flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full time furloughing.
In addition, the Treasury has set out revised eligibility criteria and details of the support being provided:
*As under the current CJRS rules:
What support is being provided and employer costs:
Full details of the latest Treasury update can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-extended-and-further-economic-support-announced
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