Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended to March 2021

The latest update from Rishi Sunak confirms the government has chosen to extend the furlough scheme until the end of March 2021 as the second wave of the pandemic and increase in lockdown measures threaten to drive business uncertainty and unemployment.

On Saturday 31 October, it was announced that the government were extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to support businesses and individuals through the next phase of response to the pandemic. However, following the first extension announcement, it has been decided that further extension to the furlough scheme and increasing support for the self-employed will protect millions of jobs and give people and businesses the certainty they need over what will be a testing winter to come.

The chancellor said the extension in furlough would cover 80% – up to a maximum of £2,500 – of usual wages and that employers will only need to pay the cost of pension and national insurance contributions.

Similarly, support for those who are self-employed through 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.

Summary of Rishi Sunak’s announcement:

  • Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of March.
  • No Job Retention Bonus payment in February, but instead, redeploy a retention incentive at the right time.
  • Increase the third self-employed grant, covering November to January, from 55% to 80% of trading profits.
  • Increase the upfront guarantee of funding for the devolved administrations from £14bn to £16bn, on top of their Spring Budget 20 funding.

You can find the full summary of changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in our previous blog.

In addition, the government announced the following:

  • Cash grants of up to £3,000 per month for businesses which are closed worth more than £1 billion every month.
  • £1.1 billion will be given to Local Authorities, based on £20 per head for one-off payments enabling them to support businesses more broadly. 
  • Plans to extend existing government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund to the end of January, and 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.

You can find more information on the government announcement from today in the government economic support factsheet or contact our team today. 

If you need to discuss the above or have any other questions, you can contact our partners and team or send us a query via our contact form.