FURLOUGH has been used by employers up and down the UK to keep employees earning money throughout the coronavirus pandemic. But with the furlough deadline approaching, is it too late to apply for furlough?
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was introduced in March as part of a wide package of financial relief measures from the Government. One million employers are said to have used the scheme to furlough employees over the last couple of months. However Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced changes to the way the scheme operates, along with an official end date for the scheme.
When does the coronavirus job retention scheme end?
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was introduced in March, and was originally only scheduled to last for three months.
The scheme, which currently grants 80 percent of furloughed employees’ pay up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, has now been extended until October 2020.
The Government’s mirror scheme for self-employed people, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, has also been extended until later this year.
By the time the furlough scheme ends, the Government will have provided eight months worth of financial support to UK employers.
Previously an employee could not complete any work for their employer while on furlough.
However from July 1, furloughed employees will be allowed to return to work part-time.
The Government website states: “From July 1, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for their normal hours not worked.
“When claiming the grant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.”
Although the scheme will be in place until October, the Government will soon be reducing its support.
Further updates on the scheme are expected to be announced on June 12.
Although the scheme will operate until October, restrictions to new applications are due to be implemented very soon.
When is the deadline to apply for furlough?
The coronavirus job retention scheme will close to new entrants from June 30.
This means the final date for an employer to put an employee on furlough is today (June 10), as an employee must have been furloughed for a full three week period prior to June 30 to be eligible.
In respect to the period up to June 30, employers will have until July 31 to make any claims.
The Government announced on June 9 people on maternity and paternity leave who are due to return to work in the coming weeks and months will also be eligible for the scheme.
People who are returning from maternity and paternity leave will be eligible for furlough after June 10.
The Government states this change also applies to people on adoption leave, shared parental leave and parental bereavement leave.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “When I announced these changes to the furlough scheme last month, I was clear that we wanted to do this in a fair way, that supports people back to work as the country begins to re-open following coronavirus.
“But for parents returning from leave, their circumstances has meant that they are still in need of support, and I’m pleased that they will be able to receive the financial assistance they and their family will need.”