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Following the PM’s statement on Saturday it seems we are back to where we were in March. No longer is the focus on the new Job Support Scheme but a move back to the original Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and furlough.


The announcement confirmed that as of Thursday 5th November England would be placed back into lockdown and the implications that brings with it. All non-essential shops will close as will hospitality and leisure, no non-essential travel and to work from home wherever possible.

It was confirmed that as a result of the pending lockdown the CJRS, which was due to end on 31stOctober will now be extended to March 2021. The key elements of the scheme will continue:

  • The Government will pay 80% of the wages for any employee that is furloughed up to a cap of £2,500;
  • Employers can chose to “top up” employees’ wages by 20% but there is no requirement to do so;
  • Employers will be required to pay Employer NI Contributions and pension;
  • Employees cannot carry out any work for the Employer during the furlough period (see exception Flexible Furlough).

Flexible Furlough

Unlike the initial furlough scheme you will have the flexibility to request employees to work part time and furlough them for the remaining days. Employers will be responsible to pay for the days worked with the as week as National Insurance and pension with the remainder being claimed through the scheme.

Next steps

  • Check employees are eligible, being on the payroll on 30th October;
  • There is no requirement that employees were previously on furlough;
  • Obtain the employees agreement in writing to furlough leave;
  • Where you are considering flexible furlough agree in writing hours and days of work.


It is permissible to request employees to take annual leave during a period of furlough or flexible furlough.

If it is not reasonably practicable for employees to take annual leave provisions have been put in place to allow a carry over of leave for a 2 year period. However if it is possible for leave to be taken then it should.

You will need to advise employees of the requirement to take leave with the required notice under the Working Time Regulations being twice the amount of time as the holiday e.g. for a weeks leave you will need to provide 2 weeks’ notice.

Employers will need to “top up” employees pay so that they receive 100% of their salary for any period of leave. There is a calculation to be followed for annual leave using calendar days not working days.

Job Support Scheme

The new Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on Sunday 1 November, has now been postponed.

Please give Sharon Auld an email on if you require any advice or assistance in drafting the furlough agreement.