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On Thursday 17th December 2020 the government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until 30th April 2021. The government have released guidance for extended CJRS, further updates will be issued by the government as the situation develops.
A further review for the CJRS payment arrangements due at the end of January 2021 will now not take place. By bringing the announcement forward the Government are enabling businesses to ‘plan aged for the remainder of the winter and the New Year’. The Extended CJRS (furlough scheme) is more generous than it was in October. The level of grant mirror's levels available in August 2020 where the government paid 80% of wages up to a cap of £2500.
Employees will receive 80% of their current salaries for the hours not worked up to a maximum of £2500. The cost for the employers retaining workers will be reduced compared to CJRS which ended on 31st of October 2020. Employees may be placed on full furlough or flexible furlough. Employers can agree working arrangements with the employees as previously in the CJRS. Flexible furlough arrangement may continue, this is where employees work some hours. Alternatively, full furlough may apply. Employees can be on any type of employment contract. Employees who are shielding or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding can be furloughed unless they can work from home.
The country entered its third national lockdown, this included the closure of all schools. HMRC have updated its guidance to state employers can, not must furlough employees if they are affected by coronavirus or any other conditions. Other conditions refers to if the employee is unable to work from home or are working reduced hours because: The employee is clinically extremely vulnerable or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health advice. Has caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus. Therefore, parents and guardians who are caring for children who are at home because of school and childcare facilities closing or caring for vulnerable people in their household. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers must pay employers national insurance and pension contributions.
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