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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme/Furlough leave

Sheila Attwood Editor's message: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is part of a package of support for businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The scheme is intended to support employers to continue paying employees who would otherwise be made redundant or put on an unpaid period of lay-off.

The scheme was due to run until the end of October 2020. However, the Government announced that the scheme would be extended until 31 March 2021, and has now further announced a further extension until 30 April 2021.

During the extended period, from 1 November 2020, the Government will cover 80% of furloughed employees' wages for the hours they do not work, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The employer will be responsible for paying the employer national insurance contributions (NICs) and pension contributions.

Employers are not required to have previously made a claim under the scheme to be able to make use of it during the extended period from November.

From July 2020, some flexibility was introduced into the scheme allowing, for example, employees to work part time while remaining on furlough for the hours they do not work. Employers can continue to make use of flexible furlough during the extension of the scheme.

Sheila Attwood, managing editor, pay and HR practice

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