On 17 of December, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extension of the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) for a further month until the end of April 2021. Prior to the announcement the JRS was due to run out at the end of March 2021. He also confirmed that the government will continue to contribute 80% towards wages until the end of April, and the eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged. Employers continue to be required to pay staff’s wages, National Insurance Contributions and pensions for hours worked, as well as NICS and pensions for hours not worked.
The government had planned to review employers’ contribution towards the JRS in January. But this decision was brought forward with the announcement that no changes will be made before the scheme ends in April following CBI calls for certainty.
Businesses will appreciate stable employer contributions to non-worked hours over the next four months as clarity will enable them to plan better ahead for the remainder of the winter and into the Spring.
But to help with economic recovery, businesses are likely to need clarity about the level of support beyond April. The CBI will continue to work with businesses and the government to evolve the Job Retention Scheme and avoid cliff-edges in other support schemes like tax deferrals, grants and business rates holidays.
If you would like more information about the Chancellor’s latest announcement, and what it means for your business, please get in touch with the Coronavirussupport inbox.