5 November 2020
On 5 November 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced further measures regarding a furlough extension and support for the self-employed.
How long has furlough been extended for?
Workers across the UK will benefit from increased support with a five-month extension of the furlough scheme into Spring 2021, the Chancellor announced yesterday.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now run until the end of March with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.
There are currently no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked. The UK Government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
What about the Job Retention Bonus?
It was also confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021, as CJRS will be available at that time. An alternative retention incentive will be put in place at the appropriate time.
What further support has been announced for the self-employed?
Today the Chancellor announced that the UK Government is increasing the overall level of the next SEISS grant from 55% to 80% of trading profits.
This grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. The UK Government will pay a taxable grant which is based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500.
The SEISS Grant Extension will last for six months in total, from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021. A further grant will cover February to April, as grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period. The Government will set out further details, including the level of that grant, in due course.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
‘I’ve always said I would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK – and that has meant adapting our support as the path of the virus has changed.’
‘It’s clear the economic effects are much longer lasting for businesses than the duration of any restrictions, which is why we have decided to go further with our support.’
‘Extending furlough and increasing our support for the self-employed will protect millions of jobs and give people and businesses the certainty they need over what will be a difficult winter.’
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