Updated: Jan 14
The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. The Chancellor also confirmed he would be extending the government-guaranteed Covid-19 business loan schemes until the end of March.
These changes come ahead of the Budget, which will take place on 3 March 2021. Extending the CJRS until the end of April, gives businesses certainty well ahead of the 45 day redundancy notice period, with the Budget setting out the next phase of support more than 45 days before the new end date of the scheme.
The government will continue to pay 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked until the end of April. Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked.
The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged and these changes will continue to apply to all Devolved Administrations.
Extending the scheme until the end of April means businesses across the country will have certainty about what support will be available to them.
Businesses will also be given until the end of March to access the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
These had been due to close at the end of January.
The government has already announced that more support will be available beyond March, through a successor loan scheme. More details of the scheme will be announced in due course, with the government providing a further update on wider Covid-19 economic support at the Budget on 3 March.