The weekend brought the announcement that a four week period of restrictions will start in England on Thursday. As part of the supporting measures, the Job Retention Scheme will be extended throughout the UK in November.
Broadly this will operate on the same basis as the JRS in August with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Employers will pay for NIC and pension contributions so it is more generous than the October JRS.
The Job Support Scheme which was due to start on 1st November has been postponed until the JRS scheme ends.
Interestingly, neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the JRS scheme. However, a Real Time Information submission notifying payment for an employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period. Calculations will largely follow the same methodology as the previous JRS.
Both flexible and full time furloughing are allowed under the extended scheme. When claiming the grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.
Employers are still able to top up employee wages above the scheme grant. We await further details of this extension which will be welcome news to many employers.
Stephen McConnell, Business Services Partner said “many businesses have already put in place JSS Open Agreements in anticipation of the scheme’s launch on Sunday 1 November. Those businesses should contact affected employees as soon as possible to explain that the government has made a last-minute decision to extend the furlough scheme and to ask them to agree to continue on furlough instead.”