The Government have announced today that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now continue until the end of April 2021, with the government continuing to contribute 80% of furloughed employees’ wages.
Employers will only be required to pay NICs and wages for hours worked (if flexi-furloughed), and NICs and pension contributions for hours not worked.
The Chancellor had previously stated last month that furlough would extend until the end of March 2021, with a review of the employer contribution levels due at the end of January, but given the ongoing economic turbulence, has made the announcement today to allow businesses to plan ahead for the remainder of the winter.
The Chancellor also confirmed that the government-backed loan schemes, including CLBILS, CBILS and Bounce Back loans will be available until the end of March 2021 as opposed to 31st January 2021 as he announced in November. Further information is awaited about the previously mentioned successor loans scheme once these schemes are withdrawn.
Whilst separate guidance is awaited regarding the extension of the SEISS scheme; today’s announcement indicates that SEISS will also be extended until the end of April and we will provide further details once they are available.
The Chancellor has also confirmed that the Spring Budget will take place on 3 March 2020, (so in excess of 45 days before the new end date of the extended scheme), which will include an update on the wider COVID-19 economic support that will be available at that time.