COVID-19 – job retention scheme to be extended to October

May 12, 2020

The Chancellor has today announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) is being extended to 31 October and will not now end on 30 June as previously expected. There was speculation earlier today that payments under the scheme would be cut to 60 per cent.

As part of the announcement, the Chancellor stated that new flexibility will be introduced to the CJRS from August aimed at boosting the economy and getting employees back to work.

Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80 per cent of their current salary, up to £2,500 until 31 July. The new flexibility to be introduced from August means furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80 per cent of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.

The extension of the scheme is designed to “avoid a cliff edge and get people back to work in a measured way.” New statistics also published reveal that the scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses.

The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August. More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month.

The government has also committed to exploring new ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported and it has stated that it will also continue to work closely with the various Devolved Administrations.