As the four devolved nations of the UK government continue to navigate their ‘roadmaps’ out of the Coronavirus crisis, in his budget of today, Wednesday 3rd March 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘furlough’ scheme) will now be extended from 30th April 2021 to 30th September 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages until 30th June 2021 – giving businesses and employees across the UK certainty well into 2021.

This move further allows all UK employers with employees on a PAYE scheme to designate some or all of their employees as ‘furloughed workers’. This means that employers can access the government support to continue paying part of these furloughed employees’ salaries and potentially protect the employees from redundancy.

From today’s announcement, the government will continue to pay 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked until the end of June 2021. 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. Employers are still expected to pay workers normally for the hours worked.

From 1st July 2021, the government will expect employers to contribute a percentage of their employee’s wages as follows:

· Throughout July 2021, employers will contribute 10%

· Throughout August 2021, employers will contribute 20%

· Throughout September, until 30th September 2021, employers will contribute 20%

More details of the scheme, including support via grants for the self-employed will be announced in due course, and HR Services Scotland Ltd will provide updates as they emerge.

If we can help you with this or any other HR issue, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our HR team on 0800 652 2610.

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