Further extension of furlough scheme to 31 March 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (otherwise known as the CJRS or Furlough Scheme) will be extended until the end of March. It will be reviewed in January, when employers may be asked to contribute more.

This announcement comes only a matter of days after he announced an extension to the scheme until early December with a return to the more favourable terms available in August – Furlough scheme extended in light of new national lockdown.

The latest guidance confirms the following:

  • employees who have not previously been furloughed before 30 October 2020 can now be furloughed from 1 November 2020. Employers can agree retrospectively to furlough someone with effect from 1 November 2020, as long as the agreement to retrospectively claim furlough occurs on or before 13 November; 
  • the extended scheme is available for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020 and also to employees who were made redundant or stopped working on or after 23 September 2020, provided they are then rehired.

The incentive of the Job Retention bonus has been removed and will not be paid in February. Instead, the government has said that it will “redeploy” a retention incentive at the appropriate time.

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