Furlough Scheme extended by 4 months
Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Scheme) will be extended for four months, until the end of October 2020. According to the Chancellor, employees will continue to be entitled to receive 80% of their monthly wages up to £2,500 until the end of October 2020.
The Scheme will apparently continue for all sectors and regions of the country, but with greater flexibility from August to October to support employees’ transition back to work. Specifically, from August employers currently using the Scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time (i.e. an end to the strict rule that furloughed workers must not work for the furloughing employer). This would effectively amount to ‘partial’ furloughing, presumably so that employees can return to work for a share of their previous hours and still get some financial support for the hours that they do not work.
Furthermore, the Government will ask companies to ‘start sharing’ the cost of the Scheme from August onwards (i.e. being asked to make a contribution). Exactly what that will involve remains to be seen.
As always, when it comes to the practicalities of how the extended Scheme will operate ‘the devil will be in the detail’. We are informed that further details of the Scheme extension and new rules will be published by the end of May. We will provide further updates then and in the interim, as further details are revealed.
As always, if you require advice/support on any aspect of the above or on any other employment matter, please do not hesitate to contact Jonathan Bruck.