Today is the last day you can furlough employees

Today (10/06/20) is the last day you can officially furlough an employee on the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

As of the 09/06/20, 8.9 million workers have been put on furlough, which is more than a quarter of the UK workforce, and the cost of the scheme so far has reached £19.6 billion.

Applications can be made to the scheme until the 30/06/20. The 10/06/20 is the last official day a worker can be furloughed, in order to comply with the full three-week period that is required. In order to be furloughed both employer and employee must agree to it.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that employers will start having to pay towards the cost of the CJRS, from September companies must pay 10 per cent and then 20 per cent in October of the 80 per cent of wages the furlough scheme entitles to employees.

The amendments to the scheme outline that employers will also pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions from August onwards. Workers will be allowed to work part-time whilst on furlough from 1st July instead of 1st August which was previously announced. Employers have to pay the full amount of salary for the time worked where the CJRS will cover 80 per cent of the remaining days that did not see the employee at work.

Ideally, by November the scheme will come to a close.

Alison Loveday, partner at law firm Kennedys said:

What will make a difference is that employers now know they can bring people back part-time, so there’s some flexibility on how they use it.

Employers know they can use the part-time option to get employees who may have been away for a while re-acquainted with work.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said:

The scheme must close to new entrants at some point and that those using it in future will need to make a contribution to help manage the costs.

However, previously viable firms not able to open until later, particularly in leisure, hospitality and the creative industries, may need further assistance in the coming months.

Mr Sunak also extended the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) after receiving a letter that was sent to the chancellor signed by a cross-party group of 113 MPs asking him to prolong financial support to the self-employed where contractors and freelancers can claim 80 per cent of their earnings, from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). 

The SEISS so far has seen 2.6 million claims made which equates to £7.5 billion.