Furlough scheme extended as Prime Minister announces national lockdown for England

England is preparing to face another national lockdown following Boris Johnson’s announcement over the weekend (31st October ). The PM addressed the nation telling people they must stay at home from 5th November until 2nd December, when rules will be reviewed. All non-essential shops along with bars and restaurants will have to close however, schools and universities will remain open.

Boris Johnson confirmed that the furlough scheme, which was set to be replaced by the Job Support Scheme from 1st November, will now be extended until December. Businesses who have been forced to close or who have seen a downfall in trade can now furlough their staff and receive 80% of their wages up to £2500. Employers using the furlough scheme will not need to contribute to their employees wages whilst furloughed however, they will still need to cover national insurance contributions and pensions.

Employers can use the scheme even if they have not previously used it before however, the employee needs to have been on the employers PAYE payroll since 30th October 2020. The furlough scheme is being made available across the UK, so employers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can use the scheme, even though they are currently under different restrictions to England.

The scheme is open to both small and large businesses as well as those that are charitable or non-profit.

Businesses who are forced to close will receive grants of up to £3000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

Mortgage payment holidays have been extended for borrowers who have not yet had a payment holiday and those who have already taken a payment holiday will be able to extend for a maximum of 6 months.

Whilst there has not been any announcements for the self-employed, we will post any updates.