THE government has extended the furlough scheme until March 2021 for workers affected by future lockdown measures. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirme
THE government has extended the furlough scheme until March 2021 for workers affected by future lockdown measures.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Over the weekend, Boris Johnson said the support package would be extended through to December to help workers through England’s second national lockdown.
Workers will continue to receive 80% of wages but the proportion of employer/government contribution will be reviewed in January.
It’s likely to cost taxpayers billions of pounds on top of that already spent – as the Bank of England expects 5.5million to be on furlough in November alone.
The Bank also believes around 2.5million will still need support through to April next year.
But does being furloughed protect you from losing your job altogether? Here we explain how being put on the scheme affects redundancy.
Can I be made redundant if I’m on furlough?
Even though furlough is designed to keep workers employed, unfortunately it doesn’t protect you from being made redundant.
What is furlough?
THE aim of the government’s job retention scheme is to save one million workers from becoming unemployed due to the coronavirus crisis.
Under the scheme, furloughed workers receive 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 a month, if they can’t work because of the impact of coronavirus.
One of the main benefits of the scheme is that it allows workers to be kept on the payroll rather than being laid off.
Furlough is available to all employees that started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before March 19, 2020, although it closed to new entrants in June.
The scheme has been extended to run until October 31, 2020, and can be backdated to March 1, 2020.
Previous rules meant that staff couldn’t undertake any work for their employers while on furlough.
But from July 1, staff members were allowed to go back part-time and they must be paid in full for the hours that they work.
From September 1, employers will have to start contributing 10% of wages, with the government paying the remaining 70%.
And from October 1, employers need to foot 20% of the bill, with the government making up the remaining 60%.
The government also paid the associated employer national insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on top, although employers started paying these costs from August 1.
But it doesn’t affect your redundancy pay rights if you are let go from your job amid the coronavirus crisis.
Your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.
You will be entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you’ve been working somewhere for at least two years.
How much you’re entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You’ll get:
- Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
- One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
- One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.
Sadly, you won’t be entitled to a payout if you’ve been working for your employer for fewer than two years.
There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.
You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.
Can I be furloughed if I was recently made redundant?
Thousands of workers were expected to be laid off before furlough was due to end in October 31.
Many businesses began consultations on redundancies back in September to meet October deadline, meaning many workers will have already been let go.
If you’d been made redundant from your job shortly before England’s second lockdown then you can ask your old employer to rehire you so that you can be furloughed.
Supermarket second lockdown rules explained including no couples or families
DEAL WITH IT
Black Friday deals start THREE weeks early with discounts at Amazon and Boots
Which shops can remain open during second national lockdown?
Argos launches up to half price toy sale with 50% off Barbie and Hot Wheels
Full list of non-essential retailers that have closed due to 2nd lockdown
Sainsbury’s and Argos to cut 3,500 jobs as second national lockdown begins
But you must have been on the RTI payroll on September 23 2020.
Unfortunately, bosses don’t have to do this and it is up to their discretion.
You also won’t be able to be put on the scheme by a former employer if you left your job because you voluntarily took time out from work, for example, to go travelling.