The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – better known as the furlough scheme – will be extended until 2 December 2020 following the announcement of a new national lockdown.
The extension is on better terms for employers as it reverts to its original status when the Government paid for 80% of furloughed workers’ wages, up to £2,500 a month, with businesses asked to cover only National Insurance (NI) and employer pension contributions.
There’s better news for the self-employed too. For the month of November, there will be a major uplift in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to 80 per cent of an individual’s average trading profits. For December and January, the SEISS level will be 40 per cent.
Over the three-month period, the rate is now 55% (compared to 20% when it was launched) and the maximum grant that can be claimed will be £5,160. Payments will also be made more quickly with the claims window being brought forward two weeks, from 14 December to 30 November.
To be eligible for the CJRS furlough extension, employees must have been on the payroll by October 30 2020 but they don’t need to have been furloughed before.
Since July, employers have been able to bring back employees part-time, and furlough them for the rest. This will continue. Employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense.
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:
• For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
• For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
• For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
The Government will also give firms:
• £1,000 for every furloughed employee kept on until at least the end of January
• £1,500 for every out-of-work 16-24 year-old given a ”high quality” six-month work placement
• £2,000 for every under-25 apprentice taken on until the end of January, or £1,500 for over-25s.
Mortgage payment holidays have been extended. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six-month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to extend it to six months without this being shown on their credit file.
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