Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the government’s furlough scheme will be extended until the end of March
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. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will also increase from 55% to 80% of average profits – up to £7,500.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“I’ve always said I would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK – and that has meant adapting our support as the path of the virus has changed.
“It’s clear the economic effects are much longer-lasting for businesses than the duration of any restrictions, which is why we have decided to go further with our support.
“Extending furlough and increasing our support for the self-employed will protect millions of jobs and give people and businesses the certainty they need over what will be a difficult winter.”
The Chancellor also announced an increase in the upfront guarantee of funding for the devolved administrations from £14 billion to £16 billion. This uplift will continue to support workers, business and individuals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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.
On top of this, the government has announced:
Cash grants of up to £3,000 per month for businesses which are closed worth more than £1 billion every month
£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