Here’s what we know so far about the latest changes:
- For periods from the 1st of May 2021 onwards, you will be able to claim furlough funding for any eligible employees who were employed by you and on your PAYE payroll on the 2nd of March 2021.
- This means you must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between the 20th of March 2020 and the 2nd of March 2021, notifying them of earnings for that employee.
- The funding available for furloughed employees will not change between now and the end of June.
- From July, furlough will start to cost more for employers who continue to use it.
- Furloughed workers will still get 80% of their wages to a maximum of £2,500 per month for unworked hours. However, employers will have to contribute to the 80%.
- In July, you will have to put in 10%. And in August and September, you will have to put in 20%.
- Assuming no further changes, the furlough scheme will close for good at the end of September 2021.
The furlough extension comes ahead of more schools around the country getting ready to reopen. In England, all pupils will return to school from the 8th of March. Meanwhile, Scotland and Wales will follow a phased return to school over the coming months.
And while many will welcome the gradual easing of COVID restrictions, it’s true that employers have a lot to think about—particularly if you put staff on furlough due to childcare issues when schools went into lockdown.