Furlough extended and £1.1bn of support

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Extended: Full furlough is back at 80% of salaries
Extended: Full furlough is back at 80% of salaries

Related tags: lockdown, Coronavirus, Boris johnson, Rishi Sunak, Legal

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced a month-long extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme during the second lockdown,

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tonight (Saturday 31 October) announced pubs would close​ in England's second national lockdown.

Shortly after the Government gave a lifeline to businesses and their employees by extending furlough and providing more than £1bn in grants to help closed businesses.

Employees will receive 80% of their current  salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500, as they did in the spring during the first lockdown, said Sunak in a statement today.

Job Retention Scheme

The current Job Retention Scheme, which ends today (Saturday 31 October), saw employers contributing towards employees' salaries. However, the extended scheme does not.

Businesses, large and small, will have the flexibility to furlough staff on a part-time basis or full-time and furlough will replace the hybrid Job Retention Scheme​, where employees must work a third of their hours, for the month of November.

They will be asked to contribute to an employee's National Insurance and pension, which for the average claim, according to the Government, equates to 5% of total employment costs.

In addition, businesses in England forced to close will receive grants of up to £3,000 a month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

Business grants:

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks

A further £1.1bn has been made available to local authorities for one-off payments  to support a broader range of businesses.

Provide for families

Sunak said: "Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families.

"But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead."

He continued: "I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves.

"Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK."

Related topics: Legislation

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