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On Saturday 31st October 2020 the Prime Minister announced a new national lockdown which is expected to come into effect from Thursday 5th November.

It was also announced that the government’s furlough scheme will now be extended until 2nd December 2020 (at least – if lockdown is extended it is expected the furlough scheme will be extended as well).

Furlough had been due to end on 31st October.

Key points to note about the extended furlough scheme are:

  • Employees will again receive 80% of their normal pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 per    month
  • Unlike the last few months of the previous scheme, the government will pay 80% of a furloughed employee’s wages – an employer who uses the scheme will only have to pay national insurance and employer pension contributions
  • Flexible furloughing as well as full time furloughing will be available.
  • Furlough periods (whether flexible or full) must last for a minimum of 7 days.
  • Employees must be on an employer’s payroll by 30th October 2020 – there appears to be no requirement that employees have been furloughed previously.
  • The introduction of the Job Support Scheme, which had been due to come into effect from 1st November, has been postponed (it is expected the Job Support Scheme will come into effect after the national lockdown has ended).

The government have said they will publish further details about the scheme shortly but the extended scheme is expected to work in the same way as the previous scheme did – so employers will need an employee’s agreement to be furloughed.

Unlike the Job Support Scheme there is no requirement that employees work a minimum number of their normal hours or that an employer has had to close their premises.  So the scheme is likely to be an attractive option for an employer who can’t fully utilise some of their employees at present.

The information provided in this Blog article was written by our HR expert to help our clients and other businesses in this current Covid 19 situation. If you would like to speak to him, please email info@sosg.co.uk and request a call back.

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