The end of the furlough scheme...
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS or furlough scheme) has been in place in the UK since March 2020.
Over that time, the scheme has supported more than 1.3 million businesses and 11.6 million employees and paid out more than £65.9 billion.
But now the CJRS is changing. The amount that employers can claim from the scheme reduced to 70% of an employee’s wages on 1st July with an employer contribution of 10% introduced. The amount payable under the scheme is set to reduce even further over the coming months (see the table below for the details) until it finally closes on 30th September 2021.
CJRS grant levels
|Government contribution||70% up to £2,187.50||60% up to £1,875||60% up to £1,875|
|Employer contribution||10% up to £312.50||20% up to £625||20% up to £625|
Employers can continue to top employee’s wages up to 100% for hours not worked if they wish.
Can we still furlough employees?
Yes, until 30th September 2021. If you cannot maintain your normal workforce because your operations have been affected by Covid-19 you can still furlough employees. You do not need to have previously furloughed employees, but any employees you wish to claim for need to have been employed by you by 2nd March 2021 (and you need to have made a PAYE Real Time Information submission to HMRC between 20th March 2020 and 2nd March 2021).
You can also continue to furlough employees who are:
- Clinically extremely vulnerable even though the shielding guidance is no longer in place
- Unable to work or working reduced hours due to caring responsibilities arising from Covid-19
Will the scheme be extended again?
The CJRS has already been extended 4 times and employers would be forgiven for wondering whether the government will announce another extension. The Chancellor and Prime Minister have both been clear that they do not intend to extend the scheme again. This might change if restrictions are reintroduced, but our advice is not to expect this and to plan for the scheme closing on 30th September.