How Has The Furlough Scheme Changed? Employment
According to the latest statistics on the Government website, around 9.9 million jobs are currently furloughed. Since our first guide on the furlough scheme, a few things have changed as a result of the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic.
Whether you’re on furlough, or believe that you could be furloughed in the future, it’s important to be up to date with the latest information on the scheme. That’s why we’ve put this helpful guide together to take you through the changes.
When does furlough end?
Before December, the furlough scheme was due to end in March 2021. However, with tighter restrictions coming into place and businesses being forced to close, this has now been extended. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced that he would be extending the furlough scheme until the end of April 2021. This is with the intention of protecting millions of jobs and businesses well into the New Year.
Do I need to do anything?
If you’re already furloughed by your employer, you won’t need to do anything for your payments to continue. If you haven’t yet been furloughed by your employer but believe that you might be in the near future, you will not have to do anything yourself to be eligible for the scheme.
If your employers choose to furlough you, they must discuss the decision with you and make any changes to your contract by agreement. In order for your employers to claim the grant, they must have confirmed with you in writing that you have been furloughed. They could also collectively agree to this with a trade union.
What furlough am I eligible for?
You can be furloughed on any type of employment contract. This includes, full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. However, in order to claim from the extended scheme, you must have been on your company’s payroll before the 30th October 2020.
In his latest announcement, the Chancellor stated that the government would continue to pay 80% towards wages, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Thanks to flexible furlough, you can be brought back on a part-time basis and furloughed for the time that you can’t work. In these cases, you would be paid 80% by the government for the days that you didn’t work and be paid in full for those that you did. Your organisation can choose to pay you more than the 80% minimum furlough amount. However, they do not have to and any top up to the 80% would be covered by your employers, not the government.
If you’re on furlough, you will continue to pay tax and national insurance. Unless you have opted out, you will also continue to contribute to your employer’s pension scheme.
Need Help? Contact Building Better Opportunities
Although the furlough scheme is intended to help reduce redundancies and job losses, job safety cannot be guaranteed in such an unprecedented time. If you find yourself with any questions regarding furlough, please get in touch. Our excellent team will do everything possible to discuss your options and support you through these unprecedented times.
Building Better Opportunities is a lottery-funded organisation that’s dedicated to supporting individuals, couples and families across Stafford and South Staffordshire with their finances, employment status and their health and wellbeing. Contact us or visit your nearest Work Club for more help.