On 31 October – the day the furlough scheme was set to end – the UK Government announced that furlough would be extended by a month. The Job Support Scheme, which was set to kick in on 1 November, has now been postponed until furlough ends.
The exact end date is currently unknown but may coincide with the proposed ending of the new lockdown in England on 2 December. The UK Government has confirmed that there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of the CJRS and this extension.
Employees on furlough will continue to get 80% of their salary, up to £2,500/mth. This 80% will be paid by the state, which mirrors the state’s contribution in August – employers won’t need to contribute to wages for the time furloughed but must cover pension and national insurance contributions.
Employers across the UK can use the scheme – even if they haven’t before. So those in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should also be able to apply, even though they are subject to different lockdown rules than those announced for England. It’s open to small or large employers, and those which are charitable or not-for-profit – and you don’t previously need to have used the furlough scheme.
Both First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross have meanwhile both called on the Treasury to provide guarantees relating to the now-extended furlough scheme which pays up to 80% of wages of people unable to work.
They want the same level of support to be available if Scotland has to go into a national lockdown later than England.
Speaking at the Scottish Government Daily Briefing earlier today, Ms Sturgeon said a decision on whether to go further with national lockdown restrictions within days may depend on how long furlough funding is available.