The scheme will however also be available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Further details are awaited but currently we know the following:-
- The scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. There will however be a short change over period when businesses will be paid in arrears.
- All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
- To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
- The level of grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work. Employers may still chose to top up employee wages if they wish.
- Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing. Employers should continue to pay employees for hours worked in the normal way.
This is an extension of the existing scheme so we do not anticipate the wheel will be reinvented in terms of how it functions, but we are still awaiting clarity on a number of important aspects of the scheme including how employers can make claims and the detail of how employers can calculate the grants. A further unknown is whether employees who have been made redundant in anticipation of the scheme ending can be re-employed and furloughed during the period of extension. It is also not yet clear whether furlough could be re-introduced should there be further periods of lockdown.
In the meantime employers should be communicating with their employees to make them aware of the extension to the scheme and how it impacts on their employment. Employers should also be seeking the employee's agreement to be furloughed/remain on furlough during the extension period.
We will keep you updated as further information becomes available.