This year, Halloween perhaps did not shape up as many were expecting. Pumpkins were still carved and people still dressed up, but rather than large-scale parties, it was more a case of celebrating in their own homes with perhaps a few (i.e. a lot) of video calls instead.
For businesses with employees, 31 October 2020 was also not what was expected.
After weeks of getting their heads around the new Job Support Scheme, businesses learned that a new national lockdown would come into force from 5 November 2020 until 2 December 2020. They also learnt, however, that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – better known as furlough leave – would be returning and in a manner that recalled its operation back in August. Meanwhile, the Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on 1 Noember 2020, has been postponed until further notice.
It has been confirmed that the new iteration of furlough leave will operate in a very similar way to the original style of the Scheme from earlier this year, with employers being paid the upfront costs so that they can continue paying their employees. Under this arrangement, employers will be able to claim 80% of hours not worked by their employees up to a monthly cap of £2,500.
In order to qualify, the employer must have a UK bank account and operate a PAYE Scheme. Additionally, the employee must have been on the employer’s Real Time Information (RTI) submission as at 11:59 PM on 30 October 2020.
All businesses will be able to claim under the Scheme, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met and, in addition to this, they will be able to arrange flexible working arrangements with their own employees along the same lines as the “flexible furlough” that has been seen of late (hence the government's contribution of 80% of hours not worked up to a monthly cap of £2,500).
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