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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“the scheme”) was, at the last minute, extended in October from 5 November 2020 for a month, with little to no guidance available at the time as to how this would work in practice.

Since the initial announcement, the scheme was extended until 31 March 2021 and further guidance has gradually been produced, the most recent of which was announced on 13 November 2020. The latest set of guidance has formally withdrawn the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus and explains how the scheme will operate between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 only, with the scheme to be reviewed again for February and March 2021.

The government previously confirmed that the Government will top up a maximum of 80% of employees normal pay, with employers paying tax and national insurance contributions. The update now confirms that employers who have not previously claimed under the scheme are eligible, regardless of whether they are open or closed. Employees must have been on the payroll on 30 October 2020 to be eligible.

Importantly, the latest guidance now also confirms that employers cannot claim furlough for employees serving any notice period from 1 December 2020. Employers must also ensure that the notice period is calculated based on their normal pay rather than furlough pay.

If you would like bespoke guidance and advice on the scheme or employment law generally, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced Employment team on or call us on 01484 821 500.