UPDATE: The Chancellor announced changes to the furlough scheme on Thursday 17th December - the update can be read here.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has just provided more detail regarding the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme that he announced a couple of weeks ago.
The changes to the contributions by the government and employers are summarised as:
- June and July – the Government contribution as now, no contribution from employers for employees being furlough (unless choose to top up);
- August – the Government will still provide 80%, but employers will have to pay all pension and employer NI contributions (estimate 5% of employee wage costs);
- September – Government contribution reduce to 70%, the employer has to contribute 10%;
- October - Government contribution reduces to 60%, the employer has to contribute 20%; and
- 31 October – scheme completely closes.
From 1 July the scheme will become completely flexible. We need to see more detail, but the example Rishi Sunak gave was a full-time employee will be able to work two days a week, being paid by their employer normally, and then be on furlough for the other three days in the week. Due to this increased flexibility, the scheme will close to new applicants on 30 June.
Self-Employed Income Scheme
This will be extended in that, in August, self-employed people meeting the conditions as per the first scheme, will be able to apply for a second round of payments. The second round will be exactly the same as the first, but instead of £7,500 it will be £6,570, equating to a 70% contribution, not an 80% one.
We await more detail on both schemes that will follow in the coming days.