Thursday 5th November
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column, this week we focus on the Government decision to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
I have previously been furloughed by my employer because of Coronavirus. With the announcement of a further lockdown, what is being done to support employees?
The Government had announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the ‘furlough scheme, would end on the 31st October 2020, with a new Job Support Scheme (JSS) replacing it. However, the Government has now announced an extension until December to the CJRS following the announcement of a further period of lockdown.
The extended Job Retention Scheme will see the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers paying employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions for the hours the employee does not work. Employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages at their own expense if they wish. Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
In addition, the Government has announced an extension to the mortgage payment holiday arrangements. Borrowers who have been impacted by Coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.
The Government has also announced that the Job Support Scheme will be introduced following the end of the CJRS. The JSS provides different types of support to businesses according to their situation. Businesses that are operating but facing decreased demand can get support for wages through the JSS ‘Open’ scheme. Those businesses that are legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions can get support through the JSS ‘Closed’ scheme.
- Where the rules of the ‘Open’ scheme apply, the employee will need to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours and the employer will continue to pay them as normal for the hours worked. Alongside this, the employee will receive 66.67% of their normal pay for the hours not worked – this will be made up of contributions from the employer and from the Government. The Government says that this will ensure employees continue to receive at least 73% of their normal wages, where they earn £3,125 a month or less.
- Where the rules of the ‘Closed’ scheme apply, each employee who cannot work due to restrictions will receive two thirds of their normal pay, paid by their employer and fully funded by the Government, to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month. The employer has discretion to pay more than this if they wish. Employees may also be entitled to additional financial support, including Universal Credit.
For the most up to date information and advice visit: GOV.UK
Look out for our column next week when we focus on your rights if you are in student accommodation.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk