UK job retention scheme: extended until 30 September 2021



The Coronavirus job retention scheme will continue to operate until 30 September 2021. Employers will not need to contribute to employees' wages for furloughed hours until 1 July.

In the Budget statement, the Chancellor announced he would extend the scheme to protect jobs and help businesses get back on their feet. Under the current scheme rules, employers only have to pay national insurance contributions (NICs) and pension contributions for hours not worked. The government pays a grant amounting to 80% of furloughed employees' salaries for those hours (up to the cap of £2,500 per month). Employers must pay normal wages (and NICs and pension contributions) for any hours employees work.

From 1 July, employers will also have to pay 10% of employees' salaries for the hours not worked (with the government paying 70% of salaries for the hours not worked). This will increase to 20% in August and September (with the government paying 60% of salaries for the hours not worked). This is similar to the tapering of support the Chancellor introduced over the summer months of 2020.

The Chancellor is also making a fourth grant available from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (for the period February to April 2021). This is worth 80% of three months' average trading profits up to £7,500. Individuals who were newly self-employed at the start of the pandemic will be able to claim under this round of grants because 2019-20 tax return data is now available (if they filed by midnight on 2 March). A fifth grant will follow. The amount an individual can claim under the fifth grant will depend on the amount by which their turnover has fallen. If it has fallen by more than 30%, they may claim the full 80% of three months' average trading profits (up to £7,500). If their turnover has fallen by less than 30%, they may claim 30% of three months' average trading profits (up to £2,850).

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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