Rishi Sunak’s new ‘furlough scheme’ explained and who is eligible

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UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an extension to the Job Support Scheme, which will replace the furlough scheme at the end of the month.

Businesses around the country have been hit badly by the coronavirus pandemic.

And with local lockdown restrictions forcing further businesses to shut down, this will be a welcome announcement.

The furlough scheme will be replaced by the Job Support Scheme on November 1.

The government will pay two thirds of eligible workers' salaries, up to the value of £2,100 per employee.

Employers will only be asked to cover national insurance and pension contributions.

It will work the same way as furlough, so employers will pay their staff as normal, and then claim the money back.

Who is eligible for the new Job Support Scheme?

Only businesses who are legally required to shut down due to coronavirus restrictions can benefit from the scheme.

If your place of work closes voluntarily, they will not be able to put you on furlough.

Also, in order to qualify you must have been on your employer's PAYE payroll since September 23.

The scheme also covers businesses that have been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Employees can only claim if they've been off work for a minimum of seven days on the run.

Mr Sunak explained: “Where the coronavirus restrictions legally require business premises to close, in any region or nation of the UK, we will help pay employees’ wages.

“So, if your business does close their doors, and you cannot work at all for one week or more, your employer will pay you two thirds of your normal salary up to £2,100 a month, and the UK government will cover the cost."

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He added: “The scheme applies to all business premises legally required to close. That includes those told to operate on a collection only or delivery basis.

“Unlike the Jobs Support Scheme for open businesses, all we’ll ask businesses to pay is Employer NI and pension contributions.”

The extended Jobs Support Scheme will open on November 1, pay grants from early December and be open for six months.

Previously the chancellor announced that qualifying staff would need to work at least a third of their normal hours to qualify for the new government support scheme.

Their employer would need to continue to pay a third of the wages, and the government would make up the rest.

But Mr Sunak has since announced that staff who can’t work will continue to qualify for at least six months.

The government will pay two thirds of wages, while employers won’t pay anything.

  • Coronavirus

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