Furlough scheme extended once again
The Chancellor announced yesterday afternoon that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Scheme), which you will recall was due to end once and for all at the end of March 2021, will instead be further extended until 30 April 2021.
The previous last-minute extension announced at the end of October led to numerous complaints from employers who felt they had been forced to make redundant employees whom they may otherwise have been able to retain; and this was because the Chancellor had, before that point, been consistently adamant that no such extension to the Scheme would be granted. This time, at least we have fair notice that the Scheme is being extended.
The Chancellor has also confirmed that the Government’s contribution for people who cannot do their job due to Covid-19 will remain at 80% of normal wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. However, as the months pass and (all being well) lockdown levels are relaxed it is entirely possible the level of contribution will be reduced.
This announcement comes at a crucial time for the hospitality sector as pubs and restaurants have been forced to close, or remain closed, in the run up to Christmas.