Extension of Furlough Scheme

In response to the new national lockdown the CJRS has been extended…

As you are likely aware the Government announced, on the 31 October, a new national lockdown will be imposed from the 5 November until at least the 2 December.

Please be aware that the Government are still clarifying their position, we seek to keep you updated as new facts come to light.

This lockdown sees the Government readopt the ‘Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives’ mantra used back in March. In practice this will mean:

  1. People should stay at home, except for specific purposes (such as food shopping)
  2. People should not gather with those outside of their household
  3. Certain businesses and venues must close (see below)

To help support businesses and workers HMRC have announced that they are extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) (Furlough Scheme). The scheme will now be open until December (HMT have not yet provided a specific date). The extended period will see employees receiving 80% of their current pay for hours not worked (capped at £2,500 per month). Any employee who has been on an employer’s payroll at 30 October will be able to be enrolled on the extended CJRS. Employers can reduce employees’ hours in line with rules implemented for the CJRS since 1 July (which were intended to allow employers to gradually bring employees back from furlough). It is not necessary for an employer to have previously used the CJRS to claim. All employers who intend to use the extended scheme should explain this to affected employees and seek to gain their consent to being furloughed (or to continuing to be on furlough). As the CJRS has been extended the implementation of the JSS has been delayed until the CJRS ends.

A series of grants, worth up to £3,000 per month will be made available in England to premises forced to close. These grants are being provided under the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme. In addition to this, local authorities are being given additional funds to help support businesses in their area. You should check your local authority’s websites for up to date information.

Mortgage payment holidays have also been extended. Additional guidance on this is expected tomorrow (Monday 02 November).

Businesses required to close
Restaurants, bars and pubs will be required to close but can continue to offer takeaway services. In addition, the following businesses will be required to close:

  1. all non-essential retail (clothing, electronics, betting, tobacco and vape shops, betting shops, tailors, car washes, vehicle showrooms and travel agents)
  2. indoor and outdoor leisure facilities (gyms, swimming pools, gold courses, dance studios, shooting ranges and stables/riding centres)
  3. entertainment venues (theatres, cinemas, bingo halls, casinos, zoos and animal attractions)
  4. personal care facilities (hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, non-medical acupuncture and tanning salons)

Non-essential businesses can continue to offer delivery and click and collect services.

We will remain operating during this lockdown and the office will be manned during normal office hours to enable to you drop your records and information in as normal.

Please do contact us by email or telephone at this time if it is easier for you as most of the staff are working from home as of Thursday.

Contacts: Tony, Chrissie, Chris, Anne, Bryan, Lissa, Carol