Hours before the initiative was due to close on 31 October 2020, plans for the job support furlough scheme to start from 1 November 2020 were put on hold.
Instead, furloughed employees will now receive 80% of their current salary – up to £2,500 – for hours not worked, initially until 30 November 2020.
In recent months, employers topped up furloughed workers’ wages by 20%, while the state paid 60%. Now, the Government will up their contributions to 80% for November.
The extension will reduce employers’ costs, compared to the furlough scheme as it was offered in October 2020.
Employers are still required to cover furloughed workers’ National Insurance and workplace pension contributions.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“As restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses.
“These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.”
In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, where other national restrictions apply, the furlough scheme will only be available for the duration of the English lockdown.