The Chancellor has announced that the furlough scheme which was set to run until the end of June, has been extended until the end of October. The Chancellor had promised that there was going to be no ‘cliff edge’ for ending the scheme and whilst there are still some key details to be announced, for many employers this will be welcome news in what are very difficult times.
So, what do we know about the extended scheme?
The Chancellor has announced that ‘until the end of July there will be no changes whatsoever. Then from August to October, the scheme will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work; employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part time.’
The level of support will remain at 80% of furloughed workers’ salaries, but employers will be asked to share ‘the cost of paying people’s salaries’ with the government from August.
Understandably employers will have many questions about how the scheme will work, some of the key ones being around the level of contribution that may be expected from employers and practical matters such as whether there will still be a minimum three week furlough period from August. The Chancellor has said that more specific details and information around the scheme and its implementation will be made available by the end of this month.
We will of course keep you updated with any further developments, in the meantime if you have not already done so, we would suggest assessing what your staffing needs are likely to be in the short and medium term and considering in broad terms whether you may wish to take advantage of the promised new flexibility in the furlough scheme from August.
Whilst it may be difficult for employers to make concrete plans until the details of the scheme are released, it will be helpful to identify the likely needs of your organisation in terms of staffing so you can be clear around how any new furlough rules could best be used to support your organisation if needed.
If you have an employment law matter you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are happy to help.