As we enter Lockdown 2, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the furlough scheme will be extended across the UK until the end of March 2021. It was due to end on 31 October, but was then extended to cover the new four week lockdown in England. The Chancellor has now moved one step further by extending it beyond the four weeks and to be eligible in the whole of the UK.
The scheme will pay up to 80% of a person’s wages, up to £2,500 a month, to give businesses security through the winter.
The furlough scheme subsidises the wages of people who cannot do their jobs, either because the workplace is closed or because there is not enough work for them.
As part of the revised scheme, anyone made redundant after 23 September can be rehired and put back on furlough.
To reflect the changes to the furlough scheme, the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500. This provides broadly equivalent support to the self-employed as is being provided to employees through the government contribution in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the subsequent Job Support Scheme.
To ensure those who need support get it as soon as possible, payments will also be made more quickly with the claims window being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.
The changes will ensure that self-employed individuals who are unable to carry out their businesses, or have suffered reduced demand, are supported over winter.
In addition, more businesses will be able to access additional support as deadlines for applications for government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund have been further extended until 31 January 2021.
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The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.