The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has today (24th September 2020) confirmed that the Furlough scheme will be ending on 31st October, as planned. He said he felt it important to “move and adapt” and feels it is not beneficial to continue supporting people in jobs which quite simply no longer exist.
The new scheme announced is one which concentrates on keeping people in work. The Job Support Scheme (JSS) encourages employers to keep people in work by allowing them to ask their staff to work on reduced hours. Employees will need to work at least one third of their hours and be paid for that as normal by the employer. For the remaining (unworked/lost) hours, the employer and the government will each pay the employee a third. The employee then also foregoes his/her wages for the final third of those unworked/lost hours.
The scheme is available for all small and medium businesses, but larger businesses will need to show that they have suffered a reduction in revenue before being eligible. Additionally, employees need not have participated in the Furlough scheme to be eligible to participate in this new scheme.
The scheme is set to start on 1st November and will last six months.
No doubt there will be further details published shortly (I anticipate there will at least be a financial cap on the payments).
For any further information or to discuss generally, please contact our Head of Employment, Ilinca Mardarescu.