In May, Rishi Sunak said the end of the UK's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would not be a “cliff edge”.
In Parliament today, to the relief of many employers, Mr Sunak confirmed the CJRS will be extended until the end of October 2020.
What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)?
The CJRS, created and funded through the UK Government in March 2020, helps employers who cannot maintain their current workforce because their operations have been affected by coronavirus. It's intended to help employers retain their employees and, in doing so, protect the UK economy. All employers are eligible to claim under the CJRS.
The CJRS will continue to provide a grant to cover the lower of 80% of a staff member’s regular wage or £2,500 per month (it had been rumoured that the 80% contribution would be reduced). This includes regular wages, including non-discretionary overtime; non-discretionary fees; non-discretionary commission payments and piece rate payments.
Are there any proposed changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?
There will be no changes to the CJRS until the end of July 2020. However, from August to October, although the CJRS will continue for all sectors and regions, there will be some greater flexibility. The Government will look for employers to start sharing the costs of furloughed staff’s salaries. It is still unclear exactly what this means in practice.
So, what of the proposed flexibility?
Although further details are to follow, from August, employers will be able to bring furloughed employees back into the workplace on a part-time basis. Further guidance on the mechanics of the CJRS, post 31st July, are being promised by the Government on or before the end of May.
LAW remain available to support employers 24/7, and our coronavirus employer's resource centre will be updated as things change.