The original Job Retention Scheme was due to end at midnight on 31st October to be replaced by the Job Support Scheme. In a dramatic development, literally hours before the deadline, the scheme has been extended to cover the period of the new national lockdown to December.
In addition, the scheme is reverting to the position in August covering 80% of an employee’s current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Flexible furloughing will continue to be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing. The employer will remain responsible for the National Insurance and pension contributions for hours not worked along with the full costs of hours worked.
Broadly, the scheme will continue to operate in the same manner as before. However, there are a couple of significant changes:
– neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the scheme to be eligible; and
– an employee must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll before 31st October 2020. In practice, this means a Real Time Information submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
The Job Support Scheme has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.
The government also announced that businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following to the following grants through their local authority:
– for properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, £1,334 per month or £667 per two weeks;
– for properties with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, £2,000 per month or £1,000 per two weeks;
– for properties with a rateable value of over £51,000, £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
Finally, the period for mortgage payment holidays was also due to end on 31st October. This has also been extended. Borrowers who have impacted by COVID-19 who are yet to have a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday whilst those who have started will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.