Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The Chancellor has just announced that the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of April 2021 to give people certainty over the Winter months.
The details are as follows:
- Employees will continue to receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to £2,500 a month.
- Businesses will have flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full-time.
- There will be no employer contributions 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 extended CJRS will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll.
- An employer can claim for any employee who was employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020, regardless of whether they had been furloughed before.
- An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020
Further details on how to claim can be found here.
Self Employed Support
The Chancellor has announced increased support for millions more workers through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The third grant covering November to January will now be calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500 – up from 55%.
Further information can be found here.
Social Distancing in the workplace
The Welsh Government has published guidance on physical distancing in the workplace.
As set out in the business advice section on closing certain businesses and venues, the Government has published guidance on which organisations are covered by this requirement. Advice for employees of these organisations on employment and financial support is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.
At all times, workers should follow the guidance on self-isolation if they or anyone in their household shows symptoms.
Rules on carrying over annual leave to be relaxed to support key industries during COVID-19
Workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years.
- Government to amend regulations to allow annual leave to be carried over into the next 2 years
- measures will ensure workers won’t lose their leave entitlements
- move gives flexibility to business at a time when it is needed most
Workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years, under measures introduced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma today (Friday 27 March).
Currently, almost all workers are entitled to 28 days holiday including bank holidays each year. However, most of this entitlement cannot be carried between leave years, meaning workers lose their holiday if they do not take it.
There is also an obligation on employers to ensure their workers take their statutory entitlement in any one year – failure to do so could result in a financial penalty.
The regulations will allow up to 4 weeks of unused leave to be carried into the next 2 leave years, easing the requirements on business to ensure that workers take statutory amount of annual leave in any one year.
This will mean staff can continue working in the national effort against the coronavirus without losing out on annual leave entitlement.
The changes will also ensure all employers affected by COVID-19 have the flexibility to allow workers to carry over leave at a time when granting annual leave could leave them short-staffed in some of Britain’s key industries, such as food and healthcare.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:
it is in our hospitals, or our supermarkets, people are working around the clock to help our country deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Today’s changes will mean these valued employees do not lose out on the annual leave they are entitled to as a result of their efforts, and employers are not penalised.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
From our fields to our supermarkets, we are hugely grateful to the many people working around the clock to keep the nation fed.
At this crucial time, relaxing laws on statutory leave will help ensure key workers can continue the important work to keep supplies flowing, but without losing the crucial time off they are entitled to.
We welcome the measures the food industry is already taking to keep shelves stocked and supply chains resilient, and will continue to support them with their response to coronavirus.
The changes will amend the Working Time Regulations, which apply to almost all workers, including agency workers, those who work irregular hours, and workers on zero-hours contracts.
The change is aimed at allowing businesses under particular pressure from the impacts of COVID-19 the flexibility to better manage their workforce, while protecting workers’ right to paid holiday.
For benefit advice, including changes to Statutory Sick Pay, Universal Credit etc, visit the benefits section.
- UK Government: Find out what support is available for your business using the business support finder.
- Welsh Government: Taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace: guidance on compliance with 7 April regulations on maintaining 2 metres’ distance in workplaces.
- Welsh Government: List of ‘key worker’ professions (27 March)
- UK Government: Guidance on going to work and staying at home
- UK Government: Rules on carrying over annual leave to be relaxed to support key industries during COVID-19 (27 March)
- UK Government, COVID-19: guidance for employees: This includes information on sick pay and benefits. People can claim sick pay if they are self-isolating or ill. The guidance also now covers workers who cannot work because of the pandemic (known as ‘furloughed’ workers), and an eligibility checker for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, through which the UK Government will pay 80% of furloughed workers’ wages via their employers.
- UK Government: Self-employment income support scheme
- UK Government, COVID-19: guidance for employers
- House of Commons Library: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: How will it fit with employment law?
- NHS Wales: Symptom checker and tool to get an ‘isolation’ note to give to employers
- Citizens Advice: provide benefits and employment advice online or on the phone – 03444 77 20 20. It also has an information page on coronavirus
- Acas, Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees