Furlough Extends To March & 3rd Self Employed Grant
- The furlough scheme will now be extended until the end of March
The next self-employed income support grant will also increase from 55% to 80% of average profits – up to £7,500
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now run until the end of March with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.
Similarly, the 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.
There are currently no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked. For an average claim, this accounts for just 5% of total employment costs or £70 per employee per month. The CJRS extension will be reviewed in January to examine whether the economic circumstances are improving enough for employers to be asked to increase contributions.
On top of this, the government has announced:
- cash grants of up to £3,000 per month for businesses which are closed
- £1.1 billion is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly
- plans to extend existing government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund to the end of January, and an ability to top-up Bounce Back Loans
- an extension to the mortgage payment holiday for homeowners
- up to £500 million of funding for councils to support the local public health response.
In addition, the Jobs Retention Bonus (JRB) will not be paid in February and the government will redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time. The purpose of the JRB was to encourage employers to keep people in work until the end of January. However, as the CJRS is being extended to the end of March 2021, the policy intent of the JRB falls away.