THE furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021.
The scheme, which sees workers paid 80% of wages for hours not worked, was due to end in March 2021 – so it’s been extended by one extra month.
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When does the new furlough scheme extension end?
The furlough scheme will now continue until the end of April 2021.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in December last year that the he would extend the scheme from March until the end of April.
The furlough scheme was due to come to an end in March, and before that, in October 31.
When the Chancellor first announced government support for jobs on March 20 at the height of the pandemic, he said it would only last until May 31.
The latest extension means the scheme will have run for a year.
Announcing the extension to the scheme in December last year, the Chancellor said: “Our package of support for businesses and workers continues to be one of the most generous and effective in the world.
“We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable them to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes.
“We’re providing certainty and clarity by extending this support, as well as implementing our Plan for Jobs.”
How has the furlough scheme changed and what happens next?
Under current furlough rules, employees get up to 80% of wages paid for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
We’ve asked the government if the £2,500 cap will remain in place going into April and we’ll update this story when we know more.
At the moment, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense – but they don’t have to.
Workers also get their usual full salary for any hours they do work.
For hours not worked, employers will have to cover National Insurance and pension contributions.
The government was initially supposed to review furlough in January, but Mr Sunak brought his decision forward to give businesses certainty going into New Year.
Who is eligible for the furlough extension?
In its update today, the government said the eligibility criteria for the furlough scheme will remain the same.
The rules for the March extension meant any UK organisation with employees can apply to furlough their workers.
This includes businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities, providing they have a UK bank accounts and UK PAYE schemes.
Workers can be on any type of contract, meaning you could still be furloughed if you are part-time or a contract worker.
And like last time, it is down to the organisation to arrange the help, rather than the employees.
The previous rules meant businesses are allowed to bring back furloughed employees on a part-time basis, although the government hasn’t confirmed if this is the case for the April 2021 deadline.
Workers must have been on payroll before October 30 to get furlough, under current roles.
HOAR is checking if the date for staff being on a payroll is changing.