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Furlough scheme extended to December | Lockdown 2

With the government’s announcement yesterday of a new nationwide lockdown from 5th November to 2nd December, as part of the new restrictions, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) will be extended to cover this lockdown period.

The less generous Job Support Scheme which was originally planned to start from the 1st November will be delayed and the furlough scheme extended  with Rishi Sunak pledging to cover up to 80% of wages of furloughed employees up to £2,500 a month until December.

With thousands of employees being unable to work with the closure of pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops, the extension of the August version of the furlough scheme is welcome but may be too late to save some jobs.

Extended Furlough

  • All employees for whom an RTI submission has been made on or before 30 October will be eligible – there is no need for an employee to have been previously furloughed.
  • Flexible furlough will continue – employees can be fully or partially furloughed and will be paid 80% of their salary for hours not worked (up to a maximum of £2,500).
  • Employers will only be required to cover employers’ pension contributions and National Insurance Contributions for hours not worked (and also pay for any hours actually worked) and employers can choose to top up pay if they wish.
  • All employers with a UK bank account and PAYE scheme will be eligible and they do not need to have used the CJRS previously.
  • Payment will be upfront as before (although payment for the next few days, while the legal terms of the scheme and the administrative systems are updated, will be in arrears).
  • The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.

Employers will be facing some urgent challenges as a result of this announcement. 

  • Agreement should be made between the employer and employee in advance of any changes being made to contracts which could prove difficult with such little time. 
  • Employers must also urgently ensure their employment documentation is in place so that they can claim as soon as possible in November.
  • For those employers that may have already taken steps to place employees on the Job Support Scheme; and/or switched furloughed employees onto the Job Support Scheme, it is imperative these employees are contacted to ensure they are covered by the extended furlough scheme instead.

Full guidance is yet to be published and The Prime Minister will make an address to MPs in the House of Commons today on the proposed restrictions, and members will vote on the regulations on Wednesday.

If you have any queries regarding the new scheme and how this will affect you, please contact Lisa Aitken, our employment specialist on 07960 469988 to talk through your situation or email:

For employers, we offer HR fixed fee packages which start from £200 + VAT.  Please click here to see how we can help you. 

Lisa Aitken

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