Businesses will be now aware that there will be a second lockdown for England. This starts on Thursday of this week – 4 November 2020. The current plan is to end this lockdown on 2 December 2020 but we have already been warned that the lockdown could run on past that proposed date.
This lockdown may of course have an effect on businesses and some employers will need to look at options regarding their employees. Many employers made redundancies over the summer; but may need to look again at staffing levels. This might be because of a reduction of the amount of work available or predicted difficulties in paying wages costs during this forthcoming period. The ‘Job Support Scheme’ would have supported such employers and was going to start on 1 November 2020. This has now been put on hold and employers cannot use the JSS scheme for the time being. Instead, employers should use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which has been extended to 2 December 2020.
The CJRS will allow employers to ‘furlough’ their staff :
- Any employer can use the scheme subject to the rules
- An employee does not need to have been furloughed before in order to be furloughed now
- Employees can be furloughed for some weeks then work during other weeks : ‘flexible furlough’
- The employer has to pay employer’s NI and employer’s pension contributions
- The employer can claim for 80% of the employee’s salary / wages up the a maximum of £2,500 (as before).
If an employee had agreed to be paid via the Job Support Scheme then they will now need to be told that the introduction of the scheme has been delayed; but that they can now be furloughed instead.
The Job Support Scheme will now be introduced at the point where the CJRS ends.
If you need any advice regarding this matter then please do not hesitate to call me on 07788 994164.