In our previous article, we confirmed that the Government was going to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ('CJRS') until 2 December 2020, which is the current duration of the national lockdown in England.
However, yesterday the Government announced that, as the impact of lockdown extends beyond the duration of the lockdown itself, the CJRS will be extended until 31 March 2021. Unless otherwise stated, the rules will remain the same as under the previous extension of the CJRS (as covered in our previous article). A review will be carried out in January 2021 to decide whether economic circumstances are improvising to the extent that employers will be asked to contribute more.
One important point for employers to note is that, for employees who have previously been furloughed, the same calculations for calculating their reference pay and usual hours must continue to be used.
However, for those who have not previously been claimed for under CJRS, the alternative calculations of reference pay and usual hours must be used. Therefore, if someone is being furloughed for the first time starting on or after 1 November 2020, 80% of their wages must be calculated as:
To calculate the average hours of an employee who had not been previously furloughed, the following should be used:
Examples of how to calculate this can be found on the Government website.
Because the CJRS has been extended, the JSS has been postponed and it is not known when/if this will start. The Job Retention Bonus will not be paid in February 2021 as previously thought.
Full guidance on the extended CJRS is expected on 10 November and we will keep you up to date with the changes.