On 12 May, the Chancellor announced changes to the operation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and set out details on how the scheme will operate as people return to work. The good news is the scheme will continue in its current form until August. The not so good news: from September, the amount of the grant to employers will be tapered to reflect employees returning to work.
Initially, employers will be required to pay their employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions with the government paying 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 and employers will contribute 10% of wages to make up the 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. Then, from October, the government’s contribution will be reduced to 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 with employers required to pay the remaining 20%.
The revised scheme includes an announcement that new entrants to the scheme will need to have been furloughed for at least three weeks prior to 1 July i.e. those employees who on 30 June had been on furlough at least three weeks under the existing scheme. The CJRS is currently scheduled to close at the end of October.
Workers eligible under the self-employment income support scheme will be able to claim a second and final grant in August. The grant will be worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits paid in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits and capped at £6,570.